indoor air quality in office

Over Two-Thirds of Americans Worry About Germs in Indoor Spaces: Unveiling the Toll of Unhealthy Indoor Air

It’s no secret that Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has stayed a significant concern since the Covid-19 pandemic. More recently, devastating wildfires in Canada again heightened the public’s awareness of the potential health risks of poor air quality. We recently performed a comprehensive survey to quantify how IAQ impacts Americans’ physical and mental health, and the results are even more concerning than we expected.

Our 2023 “Indoor Air Impact” report found that over half (52%) of Americans still feel uneasy about being in crowded indoor spaces, and almost the same number (51%) say their mental health is negatively impacted by being indoors for long periods of time. Additionally, 46% of Americans often worry about catching illnesses from colleagues they share a space with at work.

Moreover, the survey revealed that most people prioritize a healthy indoor environment over extra stipends or free lunches. Three-quarters (74%) of Americans think it’s essential to use an air purifier in their homes, and more than half (56%) would be willing to give up a vacation day to make sure their coworkers won’t come to the office while sick.

The survey also asked respondents which symptoms they experienced after being indoors for long periods. The most common responses were headaches (39%), nose or throat irritation (33%), fatigue (32%), decreased productivity (25%), and dizziness (18%).

Finally, the survey found that Americans are most concerned about potential germs in travel locations (airports, airplanes, hotels) (70%), schools, and childcare centers (68%), and small enclosed spaces (public bathrooms and elevators) (68%). Medical facilities (67%) and offices (58%) also ranked high on the list.

The results of this report are a stark reminder of the importance of creating healthier indoor environments and implementing efficient and sustainable disinfection strategies. We all need to work together to ensure that everyone has access to safe and healthy indoor spaces.

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