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Saharan wind may have blown away but indoor pollution remains

Indoor air quality in workplaces across the UK may be far worse than the pollution experienced recently across the South of England warns Richard Norman, managing director, Indepth Hygiene Services.

“The Saharan wind and all it brought with it may have quite literally blown over,” says Norman “ but office workers can’t escape ‘bad air’ that will impact on their health and productivity day in day out, perhaps for years.”

Particles found in the air vary greatly in size. The greatest health hazard from particles comes from the smallest ones – less than 10 microns (10 µm or 10 micrometres) across – because we can easily inhale these small particles into our lungs. Studies in the United States and Europe show a correlation between levels of particles in the air and the number of people who die each year.

Particles can also reduce capacity to resist infection. Studies show that particles can increase the number of hospital admissions and emergency department visits, school absences, lost work days and restricted activity days.

In addition, poor indoor air quality is believed to have an important causative or aggravating influence on allergic symptoms, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, airborne respiratory infections, and cardiovascular disease. Building dampness and mould has been associated with an approximately 30 to 50% increase in a variety of respiratory and asthma-related health outcomes.

Under The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations, building owners and managers have a legal obligation to ensure that enclosed workplaces are ventilated with fresh, purified air. To ensure clean air and the removal of dangerous particles, ductwork must be cleaned thoroughly in its entirety, grilles and filters regularly checked and air quality monitored.

“Poor air quality can have a seriously detrimental effect on staff,” Says Norman. “It can affect employee performance due to lack of concentration, low energy levels and wellbeing, and can lead to an increase in sick days. Research has shown that the size of the effect of poor air quality on most aspects of office work performance appears to be as high as 6–9%. Absenteeism costs the UK economy £12bn every year, so the evidence is clear, fighting pollution from the inside will improve not only the health and performance of your employees, but your business too.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors

• Indepth Hygiene Services is one of the UK's leading providers of duct cleaning and specialist ventilation cleaning services
• Indepth Hygiene’s services include: general ventilation systems cleaning; grease extract cleaning; hospital ventilation cleaning; local exhaust ventilation  cleaning; fire and smoke damper testing; laundry extract ventilation cleaning; car park ventilation cleaning; indoor air quality monitoring, ventilation hygiene risk assessments and expert witness service
• Indepth Hygiene Services has over 40 years’ experience working with blue chip companies, the MOD, local and central government
• As a Royal Warrant Holder, Indepth Hygiene is a trusted partner to over twenty facilities management companies including Carillion, Interserve and Serco
• Indepth Hygiene Services is registered to BS EN 9001:2008, a member of B&ES (Building & Engineering Services Association), the FMA (Facilities Management Association), Constructionline, the BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management ), the Fire Protection Association and was one of the first companies in the industry to be SAFEcontractor approved in 2005
• Indepth Hygiene operates in a wide range of industry sectors including: catering; commerce & industry; education; facilities management; financial & banking, Government; healthcare & pharmaceutical; insurance & legal; leisure & entertainment; museums & charitable organisations; retail
• Indepth Hygiene Services Limited is a family owned business founded in 1970
www.indepthhygiene.co.uk

For further information please contact:
Jane Herbert Pilotmax 020 8334 0200 jane@pilotmax.co.uk