We all agree that pollution should be cut, but knowledge about indoor air pollution is not widely available. This is despite the fact that indoor air pollution kills 3.8 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization. Breathing in dirty air for years on end can lead to pneumonia, stroke, lung cancer and heart disease. While all households are contributors to indoor air pollution, we should also look to the role of industry, which could be endangering employees with unhealthy practices. The use of chemicals in the manufacturing process causes an increase in indoor pollution, but with a few small changes, industry can make huge improvements.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
There are a number of products used by industry which can increase pollution. Smoke from machines that burn fuel is one of the more obvious causes, with mold and carbon monoxide also having a substantial effect. However, there are less obvious examples, such as the toxins released from aerosol sprays and cleaners. While a building may appear clean and therefore safe, the toxic chemicals used in the cleaning process can be polluting the air. Cutting these toxic substances is a good start, but how else can industry start to clean out its air?
Proper ventilation is vital to maintaining the health of anyone who occupies a building. The reason indoor air quality is a bigger threat than outdoor air is not because it is more polluted, but because there is nowhere for pollutants to escape to. Air vents should be regularly cleaned to ensure that dust isn’t inhibiting their functionality. When toxins are being released, for instance during cleaning, windows and doors should be left open. This will help pollutants to escape and fresh air to be brought in.
The natural world is brilliant at cleaning up the dirt that humans pump into the air. By filling workplaces and factories with plants, CO2 levels will drop. Introduce some water inside as well, since this has also been shown to help keep the air clean. Water attracts bacteria and pathogens like a magnet so that they don’t float around in the air. Keep the water clean by regularly filtering or replacing it. You can check for contaminated water by making sure it is completely clear and smells fresh.
Indoor air pollution is a big problem, but the solutions are fairly simple. Industry should work to cut pollutants, while improving ventilation. A plant or water feature can help to keep the air clean, while creating a calming and pleasant work environment.