In a post-pandemic world, knowing if the air you’re breathing indoors is clean should be a major concern of every building management team. Healthcare organizations, however, should make this a top priority, as the very nature of their work is to promote the health and wellness of every human being inside of their facilities.
This article will explore both the social implications as well as the medical considerations of air quality in a closed indoor environment. We’ll also explore international research into this topic because medical professionals face this issue on a global scale.
Understanding Air Quality
If one is not familiar with how air quality is measured, it’s most likely due to the fact that everyday people do not need to think about breathing. That’s an area for scientists regularly engaged in this research to worry about…right?
Well, not anymore.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone understood that viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 are airborne pathogens; therefore, taking precautions such as wearing N-95 and KN-95 masks that block and capture 95% of 0.3μm (micron) particles (Rollingstone, 2021) are important to protecting themselves and others from spreading this virus.
What many people fail to realize is that the air that we breathe isn’t pure. According to NASA, the air in Earth’s atmosphere is made up of approximately 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen. Air also has small amounts of lots of other gases too, such as carbon dioxide, neon, and hydrogen (Climate.NASA.gov, 2016).
While air is mostly gas, it also holds lots of tiny particles. These particles in the air are called aerosols. Some aerosols—like dust and pollen—are picked up naturally when the wind blows. But the air can also carry particles that cause air pollution, such as the soot, smoke, and other pollutants from car exhaust and power plants. When there are too many particles in the air, it can be difficult for plants and animals to breathe (Climate.NASA.gov, 2016).
Using Technology In Medical Facilities
As an authorized Steelcase dealer, McCartney’s, Inc. considers these types of issues for the workplace and provides its customers with up-to-date information to help them make informed decisions for their organization. In the healthcare industry, it’s critical that the technology used in medical facilities is effective to ensure that faculty, staff, and patients are all breathing quality air while indoors. This is further highlighted according to an announcement from Steelcase on August 16, 2021:
As organizations plan to bring employees back to the office in the coming months, creating safer workplaces will be a critical step in returning to normal. With findings that aerosol transmission is the primary means of spreading COVID-19 (as well as other viruses like influenza A, SARS and viral meningitis, among others), air management is a key area of focus when it comes to creating a safer workplace. Real-time air monitoring can play an important role in establishing the confidence needed for organizations to succeed in the current environment and beyond (Steelcase.com, 2021).
Promoting Air Quality Standards
The healthcare industry is both a public and privatized economy all on its own; however, no matter how these organizations choose to conduct business, the health and wellbeing of faculty, staff, and patients should be their number one concern.
It’s important to let the public know that the air they’re breathing is filtered and monitored for quality before they enter any medical facility. By promoting indoor air quality as a priority – especially in a post-pandemic world – patients may feel safer knowing that the air they’re breathing is as filtered as possible.
More importantly, everyone inside of a hospital, doctor’s office, and other medical facilities dedicated to human health will be breathing better air whether they know it or not.
If air quality is a concern for your organization, please feel free to browse our wide selection of air purifiers here. To view popular brands that we sell, click on one of the links below: