Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) refers to indoor conditions in a building related to the health of those who occupy it. IEQ includes factors such as lighting, air quality, and damp conditions. Workers sometimes express concern about symptoms or illnesses caused by exposures from the buildings they work in. One reason for this is because their symptoms get better when they are not in the building. Research has shown that some respiratory symptoms and illnesses can be related to damp buildings. However, the levels of indoor exposures that indicate a risk for disease is not clear. Results of environmental and medical tests are often not sufficient. Therefore, determining which exposures are responsible for building related conditions can be challenging.

Indoor environments are complex. Exposures can include a variety of contaminants in the form of gases and particles such as:

Additional contaminants include cigarette smoke, construction activities, and outdoor pollutants. Indoor temperatures, relative humidity, and ventilation can also affect how individuals respond to the indoor environment.

Understanding the sources of indoor environmental contaminants and controlling them can help prevent or resolve building-related symptoms in workers. Those with persistent or worsening symptoms should seek a medical evaluation for diagnosis and treatment. IEQ in terms of mathematical formula turns to be : IEQ=IAQ+ITQ+IL+ISQ+IOQ+IVQ, where I= Indoor, Q= Quality A= Air, T=Thermal, S= Sound, O=Odor, V= Vibrations We can and we need to control Indoor air Quality, and this is doable with a IAQ sensor, which can tell the inside indoor contamination. Once known we can apply remedy with filtration techniques. Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, commonly known as MERV, is a measurement scale designed in 1987 by the (ASHRAE) to report the effectiveness of air filters in more detail than other ratings.

The scale is designed to represent the worst-case performance of a filter when dealing with particles in the range of 0.3 to 10 micrometers. The MERV value is from 1 to 16. Higher MERV values correspond to a greater percentage of particles captured on each pass, with a MERV 16 filter capturing more than 95% of particles over the full range. The common way to identify if we are in a safe indoor environment is to see if we get headache, eye irritation, fatigue, dried throat, congestion in lungs. The air quality is critical for wellbeing of humans and effect of poor air quality can damage respiratory function, cardiovascular and VOC – can impact reproductive levels in human. IAQ has a very critical role and we need to look at buildings with wellness certification, adoption of UVGI Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is a disinfection method that uses short- wavelength ultraviolet (or UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital functions. UVGI is used in a variety of applications, such as food, surface, air, and water purification. Beyond same role of Filters and no of air changes per hour remain paramount. For healthy workspaces, now we know where the opportunities are the most. That’s way the measurement or digitization is critical, and today we have systems in place to measure environment at enterprise scale. Sensors like IAQ along with controls like Know your building at enterprise level helping in visualization. This visualization will drive reduction in indoor contamination because what you can’t measure you can’t control.

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