In recent years there has been a great increase in the levels of sensitization to allergens and VOCs in laboratory technicians and personnel. It is also a fact that the prevalence of asthma has doubled in the last 20 years.
Symptoms such as frequent nasal and throat irritation, constant allergies, sinusitis, red and itchy eyes or fatigue at the end of the day are a consequence of the constant and daily breathing of pollutants and allergens in suspension. The very nature of the work, the proximity to the animals, the procedures and the use of chemical substances that emit high levels of VOCs, considerably increases the risk of continuous inhalation. At low levels, most VOCs produce unpleasant odours and are highly irritating to mucous membranes and respiratory tracts, at higher levels, VOCs are toxic and potentially carcinogenic.
Optimizing the indoor air quality substantially reduces the incidence of respiratory infections and cross-contamination within an proper research framework, it decreases the need for animal use and, consequently, leads to better science.