Indoor air quality can be affected by many factors, such as gases, particulates and microbial contaminants. These factors can have serious health impacts and influence on the comfort of building occupants. Therefore, monitoring and analysis of indoor air is important for assessing potential health impact. One objective of the assessment is to ensure that the concentrations in the working environment do not exceed the maximum Permissible Emission Limit (PEL) values.

There are several gases including carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can have short- or long-term adverse health effects. Even a short-term exposure to harmful gases can bother the eyes, nose and throat, and lead to sudden symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, fatigue and nausea. In the worst case, symptoms develop slowly and occur several years after continuous exposure and may then lead to more serious health problems, the cause of which may never be fully understood if good industrial hygiene measurements were not performed.

Gas measurements are one of the primary functions for assessing workers’ exposure to harmful airborne compounds, for example, in production rooms or laboratories. Typically, industrial hygiene measurements are done by collecting samples from different locations and then the samples are sent to the laboratories to be analysed. This kind of long-term sampling is problematic because it is time-consuming, ineffective and the analysis and feedback time are long.

There are many advantages that can be achieved by using portable direct reading instruments. As there is no need for time consuming separate sampling and sample treatment measurements can be performed a lot quicker. This enables more comprehensive surveys of the air quality as a lot more samples can be collected and measured. Avoiding separate sampling is also cost effective as no consumables are required for the sampling process. Portable FTIR technology provides an ideal solution as it offers on-site measurement of air quality without compromising on the quality of the analysis.