Smarter Business: Greening Advisor

 

Indoor air pollutants

Certain products and equipment can release volatile organic compounds and other chemicals into the air and have an adverse impact on the health of people in your buildings. Indoor air quality can sometimes be worse than that of the air outdoors due to the prevalence of pollutants from sources such as paints, printer cartridges, adhesives, HVAC systems, portable generators, carpets, and other types of office equipment.

Just as the sources of indoor air pollutants are diverse, so are the remedies. Consider taking the following steps, and consult the EPA’s Building Air Quality Guide for Facility Managers for more information about the reduction of indoor pollution.

  • Monitor for common indoor air pollutants such as radon and carbon monoxide.
  • Centralize printing and copying to reduce toner off-gassing.
  • Purchase products with low emissions of volatile organic compounds.
  • Purchase less-toxic cleaning and maintenance products.
  • Limit use of pesticides and use less-toxic pest control methods.

Health Benefits

The health effects of air pollutants vary depending on the particular pollutant. Elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter can cause or aggravate asthma and other serious respiratory symptoms, especially in children. Regular exposure to other pollutants, such as lead, benzene, radon, carbon monoxide, or pesticides, can have serious effects on neurological, reproductive, and immune systems and can even cause cancer. By monitoring for common indoor air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and radon, your company can help protect the health of employees and others in the building.

Additional Resources

Greening Advisor

The Business Plan

The Opportunities

Quick Tip

Monitor for common indoor air pollutants such as radon and carbon monoxide.

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Pollutants from paints, printer cartridges, adhesives, HVAC systems, portable generators, carpets, and other types of office equipment can make indoor air quality worse than the air outside.
 

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