New research suggests that the greatest pollutants of office air are humans, who unwittingly carry and disperse unhealthful volatile compounds by wearing deodorant — and even by breathing.

In the United States and elsewhere in the world, people often spend as many as 40 hours per week at work, and many individuals likely spend much — if not most — of that time in an office environment.

Thus, the quality of office air can be just as instrumental in predicting whether or not individuals continue to experience good health. How can we tell if office air quality is adequate, and what are the greatest pollutants of office air?

These are the questions that researchers from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, addressed in a recent study. The investigators will expand on their findings at the 2019 American Association for Aerosol Research Conference that will take place in Portland, OR, on October 14–18, 2019.

One of the top volatile compounds that reduces air quality is isoprene, a flammable substance present in essential oils. The researchers identified isoprene in the breath of people working in the office.

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