Indoor air quality has only recently become the focus of widespread research, dueto COVID-19 spread concerns in the working environment. The field lies on the intersection of architecture, engineering, environmental exposure assessment, and health outcomes. At Harvard University, Joseph Allen examine how indoor air quality affects human health and cognition. He suggests that struggled to pay attention during meetings in a conference room may not be due to boredom, but rather a health reaction to the carbon dioxide (CO2)-rich air. His team of experimenters altered ventilation levels of CO2 and VOCs to which working volunteers were exposed, to later test on their ability to think analytically and react to a crisis. Workers in the buildings with good ventilation and lower levels of indoor pollution scored significantly better results. By employing wristbands to monitor worker’s physiology and small, portable sensors to continuously measure levels of fine particulates and CO2, he showed that in offices across the world, poor ventilation conspire to significantly impair cognitive function.
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