Does indoor air quality affect cardiovascular health?

A number of studies have explained how indoor air quality impacts human
behaviour and wellbeing. Indoor air quality (IAQ) in an office, for instance,
is proven to affect worker productivity. Researchers are also examining how IAQ
impacts cardiovascular health. According to a 2014 report from the National
Heart Foundation of Australia, 5 per cent of those aged 2 years or older are
said to live with some kind of cardiovascular disease.

Factors that lead to
cardiovascular problems

Though cardiovascular problems can be triggered by several factors, the
American Heart Association (AMA) has found that pollution may cause
inflammation in the heart, leading to long-term issues. Dr Russell Luepker, a
cardiologist and professor from the University of Minnesota’s School of Health explains
that the air contains a number of pollutants, both natural and manmade, and
everyone is exposed to them to a certain degree.

The AMA notes that many medical researchers are worried about particles
smaller than 2.5 microns such as those created by fuel combustion, which are
not only difficult to detect without the proper instruments but are able to
enter the human body easily because of their incredibly small size. According
to Dr Luepker, people living in congested areas, working in a factory or
directing traffic are typically at risk of developing heart problems associated
with air pollution.

Indoor air quality and heart

testo recommends using digital indoor air quality measurement
instruments to detect possible pollutants because the particles are too
small. These instruments can detect low amounts of carbon dioxide, carbon
monoxide (CO) and other substances that may harm human health.

A study published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences
noted that CO was a particularly dangerous gas as it was highly toxic, yet
difficult for humans to detect via smell, sight or taste. CO levels may
increase in closed environments such as offices if indoor HVAC systems are
poorly maintained or installed. Malfunctioning water heaters can also add to CO

Carbon monoxide gas negatively impacts the oxygenation process in the
blood, as it produces carboxyhaemoglobin, leading to cardiovascular tissue
damage. Facility managers are, therefore, advised to assess their HVAC systems at
regular intervals to confirm the units are operating correctly and ensure a
healthier environment in the office. 

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