Who cares about air?
Updated Sept 7, 2023 —Is anyone responsible for making sure the air you breathe inside your office, your workplace, the hospital or medical clinic that you go to, a recreational building you visit, or your residential building is clean and healthy? Should there be? We know the importance of clean outdoor air and its impact on our health, but we should also be aware of the fact that indoor air can be much more unhealthy than outdoor air. Things like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dangerous gases, PM1 particles, and allergy triggers can cause discomfort, lost productivity, can spread disease, or in more serious cases, cause cancer. Right now, indoor air quality is arguably more important than ever.
Did you know that indoor air quality can vary in a building from one room to another even on the same floor, or that one corner of a room can have better air quality than another corner? Clutter, the release of gases, chemicals used in furniture manufacturing, cleaning products, and air pollution from the outside can all negatively impact indoor air quality. Read about Improving indoor air quality of public buildings
The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring “access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment a universal human right.” In parallel, the 2021 publication of the updated World Health Organization (WHO) Global Air Quality Guidelines concluded that “…the burden of disease attributable to air pollution is now estimated to be on a par with other major global health risks such as unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking, and air pollution is now recognized as the single biggest environmental threat to human health.”
On International Clean Air Day, Sept 7th, the UN stated, “Airborne contaminants are the biggest direct environmental health risks of our time, with 99 per cent of the world’s population breathing unsafe air. Exposure to air pollution significantly increases the risk of strokes, heart and lung disease, cancer and other ailments, causing more than 6.7 million premature deaths a year.”
Some of us are fortunate because we work or live in spaces that are highly committed to providing the best quality indoor air for their employees and customers, but most people around the world are not so fortunate. In many cases, good indoor air quality is an afterthought or in the worst cases, it is not thought of at all.
Organizations are leading the path to better IAQ
Did you know that some institutions and even professional sports venues are so committed to the public that they go above and beyond to ensure that they have top-level air filtration and air circulation for the cleanest indoor air quality possible? Scotia Bank Arena in Toronto, and Arts Commons in Calgary even won Clean Air Awards from the National Air Filtration Association for their efforts. This development is very encouraging in the wake of recent pandemics and a new focus on IAQ, but how can we make sure there is adoption at a universal level? We can do so by asking that companies and institutions designate a person responsible for indoor air quality and make the IAQ reporting process fully transparent.
By creating CAO positions across Canada, best practices can be shared and implemented. Another benefit of CAOs is creating more educational buzz around indoor air quality and its importance. From more public awareness and discussion comes positive change.
Indoor air quality affects everyone, regardless of background. It’s time to get all on board to take action on the topic to ensure that we have clean air.
Camfil is participating in a worldwide effort to include a person responsible for indoor air quality at every company, government institution, healthcare centre, factory, warehouse, or production facility. That person is called a Chief Airgonomics Officer. Yes, it was inspired by ergonomics, but this field is focused on being The Voice of Clean Air. Airgonomics refers to the burgeoning discipline that seeks to maximize the benefits of healthy air for the protection of people, processes, and the planet.
Read more about the CAO initiative here www.chiefairgonomicsofficer.com
To consult with an air filtration expert on any of the topics covered on this site or for further information, please use this contact form and an air filtration expert from Camfil will answer any questions you may have.
About Camfil Canada Clean Air Solutions
For 60 years, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. Read more about Camfil Canada
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