Over the last decades there has been growing awareness on the importance of indoor air quality. We spend around 90% of our time indoors, and air quality is a major contributor to our well-being and quality of life.
Health effects of poor indoor air quality
Poor indoor air quality affects our health. It contributes to occurrences of asthma, allergy and many airborne deceases and can even lead to lung cancer. It is also common that people develop various symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and discomfort in the mucosa as long as they dwell inside a certain building, but symptoms disappear soon after they enter an area of better air quality. This is called sick building symptom, and is caused by the combined effect of numerous indoor air quality factors.
Reference: Fisk, w.J., (2001) Indoor Air Quality Handbook, p 4.1-4.36, McGraw-Hill
Comfort effects of poor indoor air quality
Several annoyances and discomforts we experience during the day are caused by poor indoor air quality. Runny nose, headache, dry eyes, throat discomforts, and difficulty concentrating are all symptoms of poor indoor air quality.
Recent studies have also shown that high levels of CO2, which is very commonly prevalent in many schools, can seriously diminish the students' learning ability. (Reference link in Danish)
The cost of poor indoor air quality for employers
The indoor air quality can also seriously affect how productive we are at work.
Various research has been done to quantify the significance of this. Based on a literature review of various sources, the estimated total productivity gains for the US economy were calculated and published in the Indoor Air Quality handbook (2001).
Table: Estimated Potential Productivity Gains from Improvements in Indoor Environments