The impact of poor ventilation on the brain while working

Imagine you have a meeting with your colleagues in a room for two hours. Then you would probably realize it was much warmer there than in other parts of the office.

We build up heat and carbon dioxide as we breathe in a small room. However, a piece of evidence suggests that indoor air may affect the quality of decision-making as well.


The reason why indoor air is contaminated

With the increment of energy costs in the last third of the 20th century, people decided to change construction methods to avoid the waste of energy. Although air-tight structures are meant to lock out heating and cooling energy, they trap airborne pollutants.

By the early 1980s, the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) phenomenon emerged. The symptoms of which include:

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Achy muscles
  • Throat irritation
  • Cough

People who come down with SBS usually experience relief when they leave the area. However, SBS has become a prevalent occupational hazard, while buildings are more air-tight than ever. This fact has led to slow productivity and absenteeism.

However, it’s not only poor ventilation that causes damage. Sometimes other elements can cause occupational hazards, such as:

  • Humidity
  • Exposure to allergens
  • Off-gas materials
  • Materials that emit Volatile Organic Compounds such as paint and furniture

There’s no doubt that poor ventilation worsens the situation; however, the presence of irritants doubles the existing problem.


What does indoor contaminated air carry?

Every living organism emits CO2. CO2 is also released during the process of carbon or fossil fuel combustion. However, nowadays, the importance of clean air has had considerable increment since the Industrial Revolution. Therefore, we cannot ignore the significant impact of greenhouse gas on the environment.

The culprits of polluted air in the home include:

  • Fine dust
  • Moisture and moulds
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • CO2
  • Carbon monoxide

The minor the particulate matter, the more dangerous it is to your health. Furthermore, ultrafine dust penetrates deep into the lungs, causing cardiovascular disease since this type of fine dust enters the bloodstream. In addition, some other items that cause indoor air contamination include:

  • Tobacco smoke
  • Mould
  • House dust mite
  • Radon
  • Combustion gases like cooking air
  • Smoke from candles/fireplace


The importance of ventilators

Providing fresh air indoors is a piece of cake. As you know, the oxygen we breathe gets to each part of the body, so pure fresh air feels better. However, studies have shown that clean air may also help our brain function beyond the physical benefits.

According to the study, there is quite a difference between people’s cognitive abilities working in conventional offices with poor ventilation conditions and those working in green buildings.

The study, which was associated with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the US department of health and human services, indicates that the participants got better results on the cognitive tests when working in an environment with ventilation.


How can you avoid the hazards of poor ventilation?

To improve air quality at home or in the office, you can avoid using:

  • Stoves
  • Fireplaces
  • Fire baskets
  • Barbecues
  • Candles


Use air ventilators

Make a good choice for green electricity. You can even install solar panels. A good ventilation system ensures a sufficient supply of fresh outside air and discharges polluted and humid air containing bacteria. In addition, a ventilation system in combination with a CO2 meter allows you to influence the CO2 level in the room. This will enable you to take action yourself by extra ventilation.


Replace the filters frequently

It would help if you change the filters of your ventilation system regularly since the filters tend to capture dust, grease, or dirt. To ensure the quality of the air and the functioning of the device, we recommend you replace the filters every three months.

If you live near a road or a business park, the filters are more likely to be filled with fine dust and dirt, so don’t leave out changing the filters if you care about your health.

Don’t drop cleaning the ventilation valves as well. They can easily be cleaned up using soapy water. However, before replacing the valves, you should ensure they are completely dry.


Let’s recap!

Poor air quality has been led to suicide and defective brain development in children. Suppose structural changes, such as improved ventilation, are not easily feasible. In that case, you can consider using a HEPA air purifier to remove VOCs, allergens, particulate matter, and other pollutants from your home and office. If you think you are affected by poor ventilation, you can use our consultants’ advice and treatment.

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