The Importance of Air Quality in the Cleaning Operation – How Can You Improve It?
Keeping a sanitary environment is an essential part of any cleaning operation. However, while we focus on tidiness and sanitation, we usually overlook an important factor that can greatly affect both the health and productivity of people: air quality. The quality of the air we breathe plays an important part in our overall well-being. In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of air quality in cleaning operations, what makes our air quality low and explore approaches to improve it. Whether you’re a cleaning professional, a facility manager, or simply concerned about the air you breathe, this guide will provide useful insights and steps to create a cleaner and healthier work environment.
Impact of Poor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is influenced by many pollutants that can have detrimental effects on both human health and the efficiency of cleaning operations in working environments.
Common pollutants found in indoor air include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO). VOCs are released from sources like cleaning products and paints, while PM consists of tiny particles such as dust and pollen. CO, an odourless gas, can be emitted from faulty appliances or tobacco smoke.
Exposure to VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as cause headaches and dizziness. Prolonged exposure to PM can lead to respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma attacks. Carbon monoxide is the most dangerous, as it can result in headaches, nausea, and, in severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning which can lead to death.
The negative effects of poor air quality extend to cleaning operations and other environments. Firstly, it can reduce cleaning efficiency. Dust and pollutants present in the air can settle on surfaces shortly after cleaning, needing better cleaning efforts to maintain high cleanliness levels.
As stated previously, poor air quality can negatively affect the health of the cleaning staff. Long-term exposure to indoor air pollutants puts them at a higher risk of respiratory problems and skin irritations and further health issues. Lastly, poor air quality can decrease productivity, with cleaners potentially getting headaches, increased fatigue, and respiratory discomfort from the low air quality.
Improving Air Quality in Cleaning Operations
Improving the air quality in your cleaning operation can take multiple actions. Some important steps include:
- Using High-Efficiency Cleaning Equipment: Invest in cleaning equipment with effective filtration systems. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can capture fine particles and improve air quality by reducing dust and allergens. Vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and scrubbers can be equipped with HEPA bags and filters.
- Product and Safety Instructions: Make sure that cleaning products are used correctly and safely. Misusing cleaning chemicals can release excessive pollutants into the air. Making sure you are using proper dilution ratios, ventilation requirements, and safety requirements mentioned by the brand reduces the risk of pollutants and assures safer cleaning practices.
- Ventilation: Good ventilation is very important in maintaining good air quality. Make sure that your ventilation systems are working, and that air circulates smoothly throughout the workspace. You can also consider installing air purifiers or ventilation systems to remove contaminants and improve air circulation.
- Choose Eco-Friendly and Low-Toxic Cleaning Solutions: Many traditional cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can contribute to poor air quality. Shop for alternatives labelled as environmentally friendly, non-toxic, or free from harmful chemicals. Green cleaning products are typically created to minimise negative impacts on air quality and human health too. For example, cleaning equipment such as the Toucan & the iClean Mini only use water & sometimes salt to create eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning.
- Educate and Promote Good Indoor Air Quality Habits: You can raise awareness among your cleaning staff about the importance of good indoor air quality. Provide educational resources regarding maintaining high-quality air quality.
Monitoring Air Quality
Air quality monitoring is an important measure for your cleaning operation for many reasons. For example, it identifies and reduces harmful pollutants in indoor areas and detects elevated levels of pollutants and other contaminants that can impact health. Early detection gives you the chance to improve air quality and protect people in the building from potentially harmful pollutants.
Monitoring air quality can also be used for assessing the effectiveness of the steps you have put in place prior. By tracking the data over time, you can assess how well you implemented your steps and how you can further improve.
One method of monitoring air quality is implementing air quality sensors within your cleaning operation. These sensors can measure PM levels, VOC concentrations, temperature, and CO2 levels. These sensors can also provide real-time data, giving you continuous data.
Another product you can use to monitor air quality is indoor air quality (IAQ) meters. These portable and handheld devices can display air quality indicators such as temperature, humidity, CO2, and carbon monoxide. IAQ meters are a great way to check the air quality in different areas of your building.
Maintaining good air quality in your cleaning operation is crucial for the health, productivity, and overall well-being of your cleaners. In this article, we have explored the importance of air quality, the common pollutants found in indoor air, the health risks, the effects on cleaning and steps to improve your air quality within your cleaning operation.
Prioritising air quality not only benefits the health and well-being of the cleaning staff but also enhances productivity and satisfaction in the workplace altogether.
At Wessex Cleaning Equipment, we offer a range of products that are designed to improve air quality. Visit our website or contact our team to learn more about how our products can help you create a cleaner and healthier environment.