We, as a nation, are now spending around 90% of our time indoors, so it is without a doubt that indoor air quality (IAQ) will affect our health and well-being. Here we look at the recent results of an IAQ study in office buildings, which was conducted by OFFICAIR, a European collaborative project that assesses the health risk of indoor air pollution. 

Although problems with IAQ have traditionally been associated with older buildings, illnesses caused by poor air quality are increasing within newly constructed or recently renovated buildings – many of which are places of work. In fact, did you know that offices represent the most common occupational environment in developed countries?

The recent OFFICAIR study was implemented to identify the most relevant pollutant sources in offices situated within modern buildings (those built or renovated from 2001 onwards). IAQ measurements were carried out in two field campaigns (summer and winter) in approximately 140 offices, located in eight different European countries.

Indoor air quality in the workplace

The two field campaigns monitored a range of physical parameters and the concentrations of several chemical compounds. Although the samplings took place at different times of the year, the most important sources for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and formaldehydes were largely the same – and most of the identified indoor sources were linked to building materials, such as carpets, paints and wooden-based materials.

To read the full results of the study, download it here. Alternatively, you can learn all about British Gypsum’s ACTIVair technology and how it can decompose up to 70% of formaldehyde within a room here