Two Strategies for Healthy Air

Having low VOC's and fragrances and removing dust and mould control correctly are two important strategies to improve indoor air quality.

Research shows people work more productively in environments with good indoor air quality.

“6 Ways to Optimise Cleaning for Wellbeing and Productivity” looks at the role cleaning plays in wellbeing and productivity in the workplace.

Air Quality_Whitepaper

$12 billion lost productivity due to poor indoor air quality

Indoor air pollution is now rated as the third most important cause of ill health and carries a large human and financial cost. It is estimated that poor indoor air quality costs the Australian economy $12 billion annually in lost productivity while the US EPA estimates that $100 billion in annual avoidable costs can be attributed to indoor air pollution globally.

Conversely, a substantial body of research has proven that people are healthier and work more productively in environments with good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)1. Not surprisingly then, most building and product certifications focused on wellbeing and sustainability, include criteria that address Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – also called Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ).


6 ways to optimize cleaning for wellbeing and productivity looks at the role cleaning plays in wellbeing and productivity in the workplace. Following on from our article Two Strategies for Healthy Surfaces, this article looks at the area of Healthy Air, and the two key strategies used by commercial cleaning companies for reducing chemical and organic air pollutants.

Strategy #1 – Low VOCs and Fragrances

Chemical pollutants can affect workplace productivity via absenteeism, such as from asthma or lung disease, and impaired concentration, decision making, and performance. A significant source of indoor pollution is from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Consumer products that emit VOC gases are becoming the largest petrochemical source of organic emissions in the urban environment.

People who use products containing VOCs may be exposing themselves and those around them to very high pollutant levels, with elevated concentrations of VOCs often lingering in the air long afterward. Exposure to VOCs can result in a wide range of health effects, from migraines, nausea, and fatigue, to respiratory problems and asthma.

Both the WELL Building Standard and the NABERS rating systems have set thresholds and protocols for testing VOC levels, while Green Star – Performance requires the supply of products with low VOC levels.

The use of routine cleaning products that are certified to contain low or no VOCs, will mean that the air in your facility will not be left with harmful chemical fumes after it has been cleaned, and it meets the requirements of the three-building rating systems.

Three key areas to focus on to ensure cleaning products and practices can deliver cleaner, safer air in your building are:

  1. Low VOC’s
  2. Chemical free
  3. Fragrance-free

You can verify your cleaning service is leaving your building’s air cleaner and safer, by checking the cleaning method and outcome.

Strategy #2 – Dust and mould control

There is a right and wrong way to remove dust and mould. The wrong way will leave it behind, aerosolise it (release it back into the air), or encourage it to grow.

The right way will remove dust and mould safely and effectively, eliminating its source where possible, and leave the air cleaner and safer as a result. Make sure your cleaning service is carrying out the following four practices:

  1. Damp dusting
  2. HEPA filter
  3. Deep cleaning and extraction
  4. HVAC maintenance

You can verify how well your commercial cleaning company is removing dust and mould by checking the cleaning equipment and measuring the outcome.

You can read the full whitepaper here.

1. Environmental Quality and the Productive Workplace by D.J. Clements-Croome, University of Reading, https://