Indoor Air Quality and Health Outcomes in Employees Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic:A Pilot Study

Rho, Taehyun and Moreno Rangel, Alejandro and Baek, Juha and Obeng, Alexander and Tasnim Hasan, Nishat and Carrillo, Genny (2021) Indoor Air Quality and Health Outcomes in Employees Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic:A Pilot Study. Atmosphere, 12 (12). ISSN 2073-4433

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Abstract

Indoor air quality (IAQ) has a significant impact on human health. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more employees have worked remotely from home to reduce in-person contacts. This pilot study aims to measure the difference in workplace IAQ before and during the pandemic and its impact on employees’ health. The levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and total volatile organic chemicals (tVOC) were measured in the employees’ offices before the COVID-19 pandemic and at homes while working from home during the pandemic using Foobot air monitors. The frequencies of six Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms were evaluated at each period of monitoring. The result showed PM2.5 levels in households while working from home were significantly higher than in offices while working at the office in all participants (p<0.05). All households showed PM2.5 levels greater than the annual mean standard (12 µg/m3), while 90% of offices were in compliance. The tVOC levels were all below the guideline. We also found that more frequencies of SBS symptoms were observed while working from home as the IAQ was worse at home. This study suggested that working from home might have a detrimental health impact due to poor IAQ and providing interventions in remote employees should be considered.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Atmosphere
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2301
Subjects:
ID Code:
163382
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
15 Dec 2021 10:30
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 10:54