What’s the Role of Indoor Air Quality on Respiratory Health?


The air we breathe might contain several types of substances and particles. Although healthy bodies normally can withstand or ignore most of those substances, there are still times where our bodies can’t take it anymore. The load might be too much or the exposure is in too high concentrations and in a much higher frequency.

Role of indoor air quality on respiratory health

That happens when we’re indoors for most of the day or night and there’s not much fresh air coming from the outside. Air gets recirculated again and again for hours, which is why indoor air pollutants and allergens accumulate and cause harm to us. The concentrations become much higher because nothing much is going out. In addition, we stay indoors for more than eight hours or 33 per cent of the day. The repeated exposure naturally increases the risks for respiratory health problems.

For example, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide can accumulate inside homes and workplaces. Other pollutants and allergens such as dust, mould and volatile organic compounds also become present in higher concentrations. Those might have been introduced inside the premises through the staff, guests, equipment, building materials and other means. The build-up of odour might also be a problem because building materials and cleaning products might give off some unpleasant or irritating smell.

Eventually these can affect the occupants’ wellbeing. The high concentrations of pollutants and allergens might induce headaches and respiratory ailments. These would also affect people’s productivity and morale for every day. The entire team might also wonder why they’re feeling sick whenever they’re inside the building. Few or none would realise it’s because of poor indoor air quality.

It’s crucial then to pay attention to the ventilation in residential and commercial premises. The amounts and percentages of recirculated air and fresh air should achieve some balance and compromise to somehow dilute the concentrations of indoor air pollutants. It’s also recommended to limit the number of objects or activities that might cause those pollutants and allergens to accumulate. This way, the indoor air quality will help maintain or improve the occupants’ health, productivity and overall wellbeing.