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  3. Health risks due to Poor Air Quality

According to the government, the largest environmental risk to health is poor air quality.

Until the Covid-19 pandemic, air pollution dangers were mainly unreported. 
The Covid-19 virus is transmitted by breathing in the airborne virus. Poor air quality can reduce cognitive function, cause lung cancer, affect asthma sufferers and increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. PPE (personal protective equipment) masks are effective at protecting workers from breathing in viruses, but there are more effective measures such as improving building ventilation and eliminating indoor air contaminants. 
The greatest risk is within indoor working environments. Many workplaces are airtight to be more energy efficient. However, they can often be poorly ventilated and too humid. Pollutants such as carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, radon and nitrogen dioxide can remain in the air at dangerous levels in poorly ventilated buildings. 
Legislation on indoor air pollution has not been clear. It is difficult to define poor indoor air quality. In 2019, the Health and Safety Executive and the World Health Organisation issued guidance about exposure levels and the measuring and monitoring of pollutants.
CO2 monitors are used in many buildings that provide information on when to increase ventilation. An air pollution risk assessment by an occupational hygiene consultant can identify air pollutants and inform employers on strategies to improve air quality. 
Air quality sensors measure humidity and temperature, and detect common pollutants. 
It is expected that there will be more focus on how air quality affects health. More legislation on the issue is expected. 


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