Why do I need to monitor my Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring should be of concern to everybody, as we spend most of our daily lives indoors, be it at work, home or within public or commercial buildings. Poor indoor air quality is a relatively common occurrence and exposure to contaminants at significant levels can have wide ranging short and long-term impacts on health and performance levels.
The World Health Organisation coined the phrase ‘Sick Building Syndrome’ (SBS) in the 1980s which refers to a combination of ailments associated with an individual’s place of work or residence. They suggested up to 30% of new and remodelled buildings worldwide may be linked to symptoms of SBS and most cases were found to be related to poor indoor air quality; often pinned down to a lack of adequate fresh air exchange and the build-up of carbon dioxide, amongst other pollutants.
Over the last few decades, there has been a continuous drive within Building Regulations and the construction industry to make new buildings more energy efficient and airtight, which often exacerbates the issue of inadequate fresh air exchange.
Contaminants may be introduced to a building via the external air supply or be generated from indoor activities, furnishings, building materials, air handling units etc. The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has recently published an IAQ guidance document titled ‘A beginner’s guide to indoor air quality’ – 2021. This document outlines that the following common indoor pollutants are of concern and should be monitored for;
- Carbon Dioxide
- Particulate Matter (PM)
- Carbon Monoxide
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)