Office Air Quality may Affect Employees’ Cognition, Productivity
New research shows that indoor air pollution at levels typical for most buildings is having an adverse effect on brain function. The likely contributors are PM2.5, obviously related to outdoor levels, and carbon dioxide, which is not an issue outdoors.
“Our study adds to the emerging evidence that air pollution has an impact on our brain. The findings show that increases in PM2.5 levels were associated with acute reductions in cognitive function. It’s the first time we’ve seen these short-term effects among younger adults,” said Jose Guillermo Cedeño Laurent, a research fellow in the Department of Environmental Health and lead author of the study. “The study also confirmed how low ventilation rates negatively impact cognitive function. Overall, the study suggests that poor indoor air quality affects health and productivity significantly more than we previously understood.”