21.03.2005

Office workers want improved indoor air quality

More than privacy, noise levels or even employee restrooms, the US American
office workers are most interested in improving the indoor air quality in their
workplace, according to a recent survey. In fact, just under half (49 percent)
of office workers polled in a recent national survey selected indoor air
quality (IAQ) as the thing they would most or second most like to improve in
the office where they work.

In the northeastern United States, more than 60 percent of office workers chose
improving indoor air quality as the thing they would most or second most like
to improve. That compares with 43 percent of southern U.S. respondents who
chose IAQ conditions as the thing they would most or second most like to
improve.


Office workers from the Northeast were also more concerned about IAQ conditions
than those in other regions -- evidenced by the fact that 72 percent of
Northeastern survey respondents said they were "very" or "somewhat" concerned
about the quality of the air they breathe while at work. Women from around the
country shared that worry, with 61 percent of female office workers polled
saying they were "very" or "somewhat" concerned. These numbers are slightly
higher than the general population of office workers; 56 percent of all office
workers polled said they were "very" or "somewhat" concerned about the quality
of the air they breathe while at work.


Northeasterners and women were also slightly more likely than the general
population of office workers polled to link poor IAQ in the office to ill
health effects. Thirty-four percent of Northeasterners and 32 percent of women
indicated that they or co-workers have suffered ill health effects due to poor
IAQ in their office. That compares with 25 percent of the general population of
office workers polled.


What happens when office workers get sick from poor IAQ? Nearly 50 percent of
those office workers linking ill health effects to poor IAQ said that it
affected work performance, while 34 percent said it caused missed time at work.


According to EPA, most Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors.
Studies have shown that indoor environments sometimes can have levels of
pollutants that are higher than levels found outside. EPA estimates that poor
indoor air quality may cost the nation tens of billions of dollars each year in
lost productivity and medical care.


The telephone survey of 415 office workers was conducted December 2-6, 2004 by
Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Filtration Products.
The margin of error is plus or minus five percentage points.

Further information


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