Common Pollutants in the Workplace

Indoor air quality is not one of the first things that come into your mind when it comes to workplace comfort and safety, which is sad, because it can greatly affect not just comfort and safety, but also productivity.
Whether you work in an office building or a manufacturing plant, you deserve good indoor air quality to avoid health issues, particularly in the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. But how can you make the air quality in your workplace good? First, it is important to identify the materials that may make it bad – pollutants.
Chemicals
Chemical pollutants often come in the form of elements, such as carbon emissions from office equipment and machines, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from combustible materials, and even smoke from tobacco and spills from chemicals themselves.
This kind of pollutant often causes eye and skin irritation, and lung problems such as asthma, emphysema, and even pneumonia and cancer. To avoid chemical pollutants, it is best to separate equipment and work processes that produce them from the work area. If it cannot be avoided, like on certain industries, it is wise to consider wearing protective gear.
Contaminants
Contaminants are characterized by their biological nature. They come in many forms, such as bacteria, fungi, pollens, and viruses.
This kind of pollutant often causes allergic reactions, which can be particularly dangerous for those who have episodic complications such as asthma, because they may experience an episode. Avoiding contaminants is relatively easy, because most of the time it is only a matter of maintaining the workplace and preventing natural processes like condensation.
Particles
Particles are objects that are small and light enough to be suspended in the air, free to being inhaled by unsuspecting workers. Depending on the workplace, particles may come in the form of cotton dust from textiles, organic dust from agricultural and farming products, metallic dust from manufacturing, mineral dust from mining, wood dust from carpentry, and many others.
This kind of pollutant has various effects. Particles can be caught in the eyes, causing irritation. They can contact skin and cause skin irritation and even cancer, especially if the particles are chemically-induced. They can be inhaled and cause asphyxiation due to particle buildup in pathways, and even cancer and other serious respiratory problems.
Particles can be avoided by installing proper ventilation systems, such as those from RoboVent. Like chemicals and particles, it is also a good idea to wear protective gear and maintain the place to avoid direct contact to dust and dust buildup.

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