Reducing Asthma Triggers With Improved IAQ
Healthy Facilities Institute University (HFI-U) is determined to promote the financial and business advantages of healthy indoor environments. To that end, they have released the first health brief of 2019, titled "Making a Business Case for Reducing Environmental Asthma Triggers."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 26 million — or 1 in 13 Americans — have asthma, an illness that causes restriction of breathing and air supply to the lungs, along with tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing and even fatality.
In addition to the personal struggles of those affected by asthma, its prevalence creates huge costs to businesses.
The Annals of the American Thoracic Society reports: “Asthma places a significant economic burden on the United States, with a total cost of asthma, including costs incurred by absenteeism and mortality, of $81.9 billion in 2013.”
In 2002, Bill Fisk, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), estimated the U.S. yearly return on investment (ROI) from improved indoor air quality — including asthma reduction — equaled $20 to $200 billion in enhanced worker performance, and that fiscal benefits may exceed costs by 900 to 1,400 percent.
While the causes of asthma are complex, with many elements working in unison — genetics, allergies, respiratory infections and environmental exposures — businesses are wise to work where they have a measure of control: reducing environmental exposures or “triggers” linked to asthma.
Airborne triggers include dust, pollen, molds, insect and dust mite allergens, chemicals and fragrances from cleaning/disinfecting, and irritants from smoke.