Depending on your health, you may have a respiratory issue or illness, one your employer may unknowingly make worse. Could your office have poor indoor air quality that endangers your health?
The EPA explores common indoor air quality hazards and how the presence of certain pollutants may put employees at risk. Determine if you may have grounds for a workplace illness legal action.
Elements that contribute to indoor air quality
You may already know the part humidity, moisture, pollutants and odor play in your office’s air quality, but several other factors affect the quality of the air you breathe while at work. Additional elements include how well your company maintains its ventilation system, the specific source of common pollutants and irritants, and how vulnerable you and your coworkers are to certain contaminants and pollutants.
Categories of pollutants
You may expose yourself to air pollutants without realizing it. Examples of chemical pollutants include certain floor and wall coverings, cleaning products, chemical spills and gases. Your office may have particles floating through the air that could irritate your respiratory system, such as those emitted from copying and printing equipment, dirt, dust and wood sanding.
Workspaces may also have biological contaminants that cause asthma attacks. Examples of such contaminants run from animal dander, pollen and dust mites to viruses, bacteria and mold.
Improving air quality
To ensure you have a safe, comfortable space in which to earn a living, your employer may take steps to better indoor air quality. Boxes, office equipment and larger items cannot block air grilles and vents, as blocked vents may not properly ventilate spaces. Employees should only smoke in designated areas, and companies should create policies for managing known sources of pollutants.
You should not work in an environment that puts your respiratory health at risk. Protect your rights by understanding your employer’s responsibilities.