Indoor air quality can impact on cognitive performance

24th November 2015

With the Australian made Bio Products non-toxic paints coming back onto the market (see my antennae noted the interesting article below.

In recent years there have been an increasing number of brands with so called “low VOC” paints but these – and/or their pigments - are still essentially made from petrochemical products. It also begs the question: if they are making “low VOC” paints are they suggesting their other paint products are a problem?

Our recommendation is to avoid dangerous chemically derived paints and furnishings, and to maximise the amount of natural ventilation.

Marc Howe writes in Sourceable (12/11/15):

"A new peer-reviewed study from the US has found that indoor air quality can have a highly significant impact on the cognitive performance of building occupants.

"Researchers from the Willis H. Carrier Total Indoor Environmental Quality Laboratory at the Syrcause Centre for Excellence conducted the two week study, involving the simulation of multiple indoor conditions that are commonly encountered in US office environments, in November 2014.

"The study first entailed the creation of two essentially identical office environments situated next two each other, each of which contained 12 cubicles.

"The researchers then used management and crisis simulation software to assess the impact of air quality variations on the cognitive performance of 24 testing participants, who spent six full work days in the fully controlled office environment under double-blind conditions.

"The test subjects included professionals from the fields of architecture, design, engineering, marketing and computer programming, and excluded individuals who might display heightened sensitivity to air quality factors, such as smokers and asthmatics, as well as sufferers of claustrophobia or schizophrenia.

"During the course of the six-day experiment, the researchers adjusted indoor air quality by varying the concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), airventilation rates and carbon dioxides in order to simulate environmental conditions in US office buildings.

"According to the study published by the researchers in Environmental Health Perspectives, the scores for cognitive performance were 61 per cent higher on average compared to conventional conditions during those days when green building conditions were simulated, and a stunning 101 per cent higher on those days when ventilation was maximised."

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