There are more than 50 million Americans every year that experience different types of allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Among the most common is allergic rhinitis or hay fever, which affects about 20 million employees in the healthcare industry. However, while the benefits of improving air quality are evident in preventing diseases that may be airborne, poor air quality in an enclosed space can lead to detrimental effects on health and safety. In fact, indoor air pollution is causing a greater number of health-related complications, with healthcare environments affected by the “sick building syndrome.” So how can we improve air quality in the healthcare sector? Here’s what you should know.
Improved Air Quality Leads To Improved IAQ In Hospitals
While improvement of IAQ is a continuous process, poor air quality may trigger chronic conditions such as asthma, which can lead to individuals having difficulty in breathing in specific areas. Increasing or improving ventilation can improve air quality significantly by allowing fresh air to circulate and remove dust or allergens. Adopting natural air purifying systems, such as those with activated charcoal, has also been proven to be a simple yet effective way to eliminate unwanted airborne particles. When windows or machines are unavailable or limited, indoor plants can also clean the air by absorbing the old air and producing fresh air.
Compliance With Industry Standards
Indoor air pollution is evident in homes or establishments that don’t usually open windows to welcome fresh air inside. During recent years, the Demand Controlled Ventilation (DVC) was developed to minimize the cost of energy used by ventilation systems while maintaining the standard levels of indoor air quality. However, dust, allergens and airborne viruses can remain in a room or building with poor ventilation for several days. This can be a health risk to everyone, and can be mistaken for other health issues or personal problems. One strategy is to help create awareness among staff and the public about the importance of IAQ by not bringing non-sterile objects into designated clean areas, keeping windows closed to prevent external pollutants coming in, and limiting visitors around patients.
Poor air quality can directly affect the wellbeing and health of everyone exposed. In fact, it can increase the risk of additional health problems in the long term. Thus, it is important to maximize these strategies used to maintain a proper IAQ in healthcare sectors.
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