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British workers would monitor air quality from their desks amid health concerns

New research has revealed that concerns about indoor air quality are at an all-time high, with 64 per cent of British workers concerned about the impact of indoor air quality on their health and 46 per cent concerned about air quality in schools.

Almost half of all workers are worried about becoming ill from airborne germs at the office with more than half (54 per cent) saying they would monitor air quality from their desks if equipment it was made available to them, rising to 71 per cent of Londoners.

Research carried out for Khansaheb Industries, which manufactures Spiralite, an easy-to-install lightweight heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) ductwork, shows that 45 per cent of survey respondents worry about catching an airborne illness. Almost the same percentage of people (44 per cent) want their employer to upgrade the ventilation in their office, increasing to 48 per cent for workers with health conditions.

Nearly 60 per cent of workers recognise that poor air-quality in office spaces can cause poor productivity, with one in 10 people directly having experienced it themselves.

Poor ventilation and air quality can lead to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), where occupants of a building experience acute health or comfort related effects which seem to be directly linked to the building. SBS can cause cold-like symptoms such as headaches, coughing, a blocked nose and tiredness.

Latest figures from the CIPD show that workers are taking more sick days than they have done in 15 years, with 94 per cent of people saying minor illnesses like colds, flu, headaches or migraines were to blame for their absence.

Simon Pallant, Country Manager of UK & Ireland, Spiralite/Khansaheb Industries, said: “As companies encourage their employees to return to the office, it’s becoming more and more important that the working environment is comfortable, airy and clean – all of which are vital to a healthy and productive workforce.

“Indoor air quality has become a real talking point in the UK and there is mounting pressure on companies and the Government to make improvements that will safeguard people across the country. Noxious gases, cancer-causing chemicals, and pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and moulds are increasingly causing health problems, and improving indoor air quality in buildings is one simple way to minimise these dangers.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recently announced plans to install delicate particulate matter (PM2.5) filters in 200 schools across the capital, while England’s chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty last year called for indoor air pollutants to be measured in public spaces amid concerns that amid concerns that dirty indoor air could be contributing to nearly as many deaths as outdoor air pollution.

Air pollution is linked to tens of thousands of early deaths a year in the UK from heart disease and stroke, while it can cause reduced lung growth, respiratory infections and aggravated asthma in children.

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