Impacts of Poor Indoor Air Quality in the Workplace

Impacts of Poor Indoor Air Quality in the Workplace

Do you walk into your workplace and get a sore throat and headache? It could be a sign that your building has poor indoor air quality. If the air inside your office is noticeably unpleasant, you could be suffering in more ways than you realize. Know the impacts poor indoor air quality in the workplace can have on your health. Keep reading to find out why proper ventilation is important.

Short-Term Health Impacts

The immediate effects of poor indoor air quality can cause health conditions in people who are briefly exposed to them. The conditions are treatable, and it’s usually recommended that you first remove yourself from the unhealthy environment. You are more likely to experience immediate effects if you are older or have pre-existing conditions such as asthma, allergies, or diabetes.

Pro Tip: It’s harder for people with health conditions to know if indoor air quality is affecting them. Pay attention to where you are when your symptoms worsen!


The most common sign that you are in an environment with poor indoor air quality is if cold and flu symptoms arise. While inside of a building that does not use a continuous air monitoring system to maintain air quality standards, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Dry eyes
  • Runny nose

Neurological Issues

Immediate effects from poor indoor air quality can harm your mental health. You might perform worse at work if the environment gives you headaches and makes you dizzy. Furthermore, you might feel tired more often if the environment you spend a third of your day in is poorly ventilated and irritating your eyes.

Long-Term Health Impacts

If you work in a building with poor air quality long-term, you may experience worse health problems. Buildings that don’t maintain HVAC systems risk harming their employees. Employees who experience health problems are more likely to take time off, file disability claims, or leave your company for better opportunities.

Deadly Diseases

Repeated exposure to the toxins found in poor indoor air quality can cause deadly diseases. The reasons why it is important to purify your air is to eliminate harmful chemicals before you breathe them in. Long-term exposure to poor indoor air quality can lead to:

  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Cancer

Mental Health

Exposure to poor indoor air quality can take a toll on your mental health. If you spend too much time in a building that isn’t properly ventilated, you might experience an onset of mood swings, or even signs of depression. The toxic chemicals you breathe in while exposed to dirty indoor air can also cause neurological disorders.

Birth Defects

Poor indoor air quality is a much more significant hazard to pregnant women and young children. In addition, poor air quality can cause irreversible birth defects and developmental problems in newborns.

The impacts of poor indoor air quality in the workplace are serious, and they can be deadly. You should pay attention to how you feel when you are inside versus outside, and make conscious efforts to improve the quality of the air in your building. Talk to the person that manages your building’s HVAC, or hire a technician to help you find ways to improve your system.