Indoor air quality very important to firms

Indoor air quality very important to firms

Tommy Rice, general manager, Eirdata and Bernard Yore, ESS Group CEO, (Eirdata Ltd & ESS Ltd) launching Eirdata’s nationwide survey in conjunction with Engineers Ireland which shows action on air quality and ventilation in the workplace is crucial to help prevent serious health issues including respiratory viruses such as Covid-19. Picture: Brian Lougheed

EIRDATA recently undertook a nationwide survey with Engineers Ireland to see how ventilation affects indoor air quality, makes the workplace healthier and reduces the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Specialists in cleanroom validation, commissioning and compliance, HVAC systems, indoor air quality and building wellness, Eirdata surveyed their client companies and the 24,000 members of Engineers Ireland.

With indoor air quality recognised as an integral contributing factor toward employee wellness, health and safety, Eirdata were keen to gather valuable market intelligence and insights to the issues and trends.

Commenting on the survey Bernard Yore, Group CEO, Eirdata Ltd & ESS Ltd said: “More than 75% of respondents believe that indoor air quality and ventilation is important or very important in their organisation.

“However, our results show nearly 50% of those surveyed have not even had a discussion around how to ensure their workplaces are safe.

“Again, over half of respondents (53%) rate their indoor air quality and ventilation as poor or average. This is very worrying, not just from a Covid-19 perspective but also from an individuals wellbeing.

“A really simple part of the solution to lower the concentrations of indoor air pollutants or contaminants including any viruses that may be in the air is to increase ventilation. Keep windows open if possible to allow outdoor air coming indoors.

“Whilst increasing ventilation is not enough to protect people from Covid-19 or any other respiratory disease, it is a simple tool, when used along with other best practices — it can reduce the risk. Also monitoring indoor air quality at least twice a year and preferably continually using sensors is a quick, inexpensive part of the solution.”

98% of respondents agree that their productivity, concentration and general wellbeing is a factor of the air they are breathing.

96% agree that indoor air quality and ventilation has a direct effect on energy consumption and efficiency.

Bernard Yore added: “It is very encouraging to see 93% agree IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) sensors are useful devices to help assess whether adequate ventilation is being provided and will measure the air quality as it relates to the health and comfort of the building occupants. The sensors are small and can easily fit unobtrusively within any room/office area and remote monitoring is simple.

“We know that failing to ventilate adequately to reduce the build-up of dangerous indoor air pollutants can lead to a range of serious health issues. The latest Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality Report for 2019 estimated 1,300 people are prematurely dying each year in Ireland due to poor air quality. Poor air quality has short-term health implications such as headaches, breathing difficulties and eye irritation and long-term effects including asthma, reduced liver function or cardiovascular disease.

“We spend so much of our day indoors, usually 90% or more, so I urge all organisations to check the ventilation in their workplaces. As experts in air quality, we know that if you look after the wellness of your building, this in turn will contribute to the good health and well-being of your team in the long-term,” concluded Mr Yore.

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