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Tips From Our Consultants: 10 Things You Want to Know About Indoor Air Quality

February 14, 2017
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Do you know how indoor air quality may affect your productivity? Or, the easy steps you can take to improve the air you breathe?  If you are not sure – you are not alone! According to some studies, building owners, designers and managers are often unaware of the costs and benefits of indoor air quality improvement. Our experts have conducted thousands of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assessments in public, commercial, institutional and residential buildings.

Contact us to start your journey to evaluate your IAQ!

Here are some tips from THEM to give you an idea how indoor air quality can impact your tenants or your workplace:

♦Maintaining great indoor air quality benefits the employer: it has proven to increase productivity and reduce absences at work.

♦ Great indoor air quality helps attract better tenants, since it is a key component of a healthy indoor environment.

♦ Indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in buildings is directly linked to Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness.

♦ Poor indoor air quality can make tenants feel ill. Sick Building Syndrome symptoms usually persist inside an airtight building with indoor air quality problems. Complaints of eye and upper respiratory tract irritation, difficulty concentrating, headaches, malaise and / or feeling of bad air quality are just some of the possible Sick Building Syndrome

♦ For good air quality, carefully choose the materials you use inside your building. Sick Building Syndrome is thought to be caused by the buildup of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from chemical products, building materials, personal care products usage, and/or carbon dioxide.

♦ Check your indoor air quality if you are making your building more energy-efficient. The usual cause of Sick Building Syndrome is often related to limited natural fresh air infiltration in the more airtight energy-efficient buildings and/or inadequate temperature and relative humidity control. It is typically associated with the inadequate fresh air supply for the number of persons and types of activities in the space.

♦ Indoor air quality tests can help detect the sources of Building Related Illness. Symptoms of a Building Related Illness are usually linked to a specific source in the environment such as carbon monoxide poisoning from a malfunctioning combustion appliance, allergic reactions to mould growing in the space or Legionnaires Disease from contaminated water features in a building, etc.

Contact us to start your journey to evaluate your IAQ!

♦ Watch out for the placement of building air intake vents. Objectionable odours are the leading cause of IAQ complaints. They can be related to the intake vents being too close to dumpsters, loading docks, kitchen exhausts, plumbing vents or local ventilation exhausts.

♦ There is a comprehensive guide on how to manage IAQ challenges in your environment. “ASHRAE Standard 62.1- 2016 – Ventilation for acceptable air quality” is a great place to look for guidelines. It is considered a ‘best management practice’. Proactively assessing indoor air quality in your work environment is one of the distinctive actions of a diligent employer!

♦ Indoor air can be 2 to 5 times (and even up to 100 times) more polluted than the worst outdoor air. Most people recognize the health concerns of outdoor air pollution, so how come we don’t consider and address the effects of exposure to poor indoor air quality?

The impact of the built environment on health of occupants is a growing concern. It has become a key part of sustainability, tenants are increasingly aware of the indoor environmental quality and demand healthy buildings, and top talents look at office environments when evaluating job offers. Our assessment reports will inform you of problem areas and propose a cost-effective, logical course of action to improve conditions.

Start your journey to better EHS – request a free consultation!

 


ABOUT T. HARRIS ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Harris Environmental Management Inc. (THEM) is a leading Canadian environmental consulting firm in the fields of environmental services, hazardous materials management, industrial hygiene, and occupational health and safety. Our professional staff serve a wide range of clientele including commercial, government, industrial institutional, and residential. We are passionate about health & safety and committed to excellence. For more than 35 years, we continue to provide high quality services, taking pride in building long-term relationships with our clients. We are dedicated to understanding your concerns and meeting your needs by delivering efficient, cost-effective solutions.

Mission: To be the preeminent niche environmental and occupational health and safety consulting firm in Ontario and Quebec.

Vision: To enhance our position as a premier niche environmental consulting company based on knowledge, innovation, technology, and be at the forefront of emerging EHS concerns and regulatory changes. We will achieve this by further developing our expertise, fostering growth of our team, synergistic relationships, excellence in performance, and strengthening client relationships.

Value Statement: We are committed to understanding client concerns and meeting our client’s needs by formulating practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions.

 

About the Author – Olga Shuvalova

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