Study finds home indoor air quality isn’t as good as in-office

The battle between working from home or working from the office just got more difficult. With 26% of Americans working remotely since the start of the pandemic, monitoring your indoor air quality may be something you should consider.

Researchers at Texas A&M published a study in the peer-reviewed journal, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, and found that indoor air quality (IAQ) was worse in homes than in offices.

ExploreApple Watch warns nursing student of symptoms months before diagnosis

Footbot air monitors measured fine particulate matter in the air of both home and work offices. Participants’ households exceeded the standard level of PM in indoor air, whereas 90% of offices were in compliance with the standard level.

“The advent of COVID-19 caused the shift of working pattern to work from home remotely for many employees. However, homes may not be a good working environment, compared to conventional office settings with better air conditioning and ventilation systems,” the study concluded.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, poor air quality poses a significant threat to well-being. Short-term symptoms may include irritated eyes, nose and throat, as well as headaches and dizziness. However, long-term exposure to poor IAQ can cause respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer, according to the EPA.

ExploreVideo game addiction, now globally recognized illness, seeks treatment

Pollutants that come from poor ventilation, high or low humidity, dust from recent renovations, mold, pesticides, chemicals from cleaning supplies and other airborne chemicals may cause poor IAQ.

The EPA recommends 3 ways to increase IAQ in your house.

First, finding the sources of pollutants is the most effective way to increase IAQ. This may include sources that contain asbestos, or gas stoves that can be adjusted to reduce the level of emissions released in your house. Opening doors and windows brings fresh air into your house while lowering indoor pollutants inside. Finally, air cleaners and air purifiers work to filter out microscopic pollutants and other particles in the air.

For more content like this, sign up for the Pulse newsletter here.