Potted Ficus Bonsai on light windowsill

Bad indoor air quality is an issue. A workplace or public space plagued with poor indoor air quality can quickly become a problem for occupants. Just a single exposure to indoor air pollutants can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, and cause headaches, dizziness and fatigue, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. While none of these issues would appear to pose a serious threat to safety, they do impede a person’s ability to perform at their best — which is a problem for both employees and employers looking to maximize production. Over the long-term, exposure to poor indoor air quality can lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease and forms of cancer — all of which can of course be fatal.

While it might not be fair, much of the responsibility in improving a facility’s indoor air quality falls on the shoulders of building service contractors, facility managers, and janitorial workers. Using their tools and expertise, these individuals can make a significant impact on indoor air quality. Below are three tips on how to improve a facility’s indoor air quality, courtesy of Waxie.

1. Approach the issue directly by identifying the source of solution and then either eliminate the source all together or reduce the amount of substance it is emitting. One example of this action, according to Waxie, would be to use biobased, green cleaning chemicals instead of a cleaning product with a high amount of volatile organic compounds.

2. While it might not be an option for all facilities, improving ventilation by using fans that send air outdoors can have a positive impact on indoor air quality. Opening a window and directing air out of that space can be a big help, especially when bleach is being applied or a floor is being stripped.

3. Another example that depends on the resources on hand, portable air cleaners and filters can assist in removing pollutants when used. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are some things air cleaners don’t do a good job of removing, like radon.

The tips provided by Waxie are just a few from a longer list of actions those cleaning commercial facilities can do to improve indoor air quality. As this CleanLink minute piece explains, indoor air quality can also be improved by adding entrance mats to a facility, increasing vacuuming frequencies, improving dusting practices, cleaning non-traditional surfaces like exposed pipes and maintaining HVAC systems.