Air pollution is associated with causing various health conditions, including strokes, cancer, mental health problems, and miscarriages. People go to hospitals when they’re experiencing these issues, but what if the hospital is full of polluted air itself and is therefore contributing to the poor health of its patients? Improving air quality in hospitals is essential to prevent new illnesses in patients and to avoid exacerbating existing symptoms.
Health concerns caused by bad air in hospitals
Research by the World Health Organization suggests that air pollution affects every single cell in the body and is responsible for a lot more health problems than previously believed. For people already unwell and in hospital, breathing in polluted air can slow down their recovery, make their illness worse, and even trigger new illnesses, particularly in those who are vulnerable and easily susceptible to catching viruses. It’s important for hospitals to set a good example by leading the way in improving indoor air quality, as they’re the one place that people should be able to recover and feel safe without worrying about what toxins they may be breathing in.
Ways hospitals can improve indoor air quality
There are some things that are difficult for hospitals to do to improve indoor air quality due to the nature of their business, such as needing to use cleaning products that contain strong-enough chemicals to kill bacteria. However, there are plenty of other steps that hospitals can take that don’t require a compromise. For example, air duct and dryer vent cleaning should be done regularly to prevent mold and mildew, which improves air quality and prevents both vulnerable patients and staff from breathing in harmful toxins.
Letting fresh air in
Simply opening windows can let toxins out, freshen up the air, and improve the quality of it. However, there are things on hospital grounds that can directly affect the air that gets in, particularly cigarette smoke. More hospitals are going completely smoke-free on their grounds, but it’s not uncommon for patients and visitors to smoke anyway or to use e-cigarettes, and this can blow directly into windows. Enforcing a smoking ban for everyone around the entire hospital can dramatically improve air quality and the health of everyone at the hospital.
Cleanliness is essential in hospitals, but the products used to clean them may be doing more harm than good when it comes to health. Fortunately, there are plenty of other things hospitals can do to improve indoor air quality which can dramatically improve the health of their patients, staff, and visitors.