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Cognitive Function

Air quality impacts the brain, cognition, intellectual activities of focus, executive functions, and problem solving.

Cognitive Function and the Corporate Athlete

Intellect is likely the corporate athletes’ greatest superpower and company’s most valuable asset.

Cognitive functions are mental skills used in the process of acquiring knowledge, manipulating information, reasoning, problem-solving, social behaviors and more. They have more to do with the mechanisms of how people learn rather than with actual knowledge.

Our brain runs on oxygen (O2), which typically makes up less than 21% of the air, even less in a tight, crowded space, lacking sufficient ventilation, congested with carbon dioxide (CO2), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), and particulate matter =< 2.5. Micron (PM2.5).  These common airborne contaminants are off-gassing and shedding from building material, people, and their belongings.  Walking on a synthetic carpet can create and aerosolize literally thousands of particulates small enough to enter the bloodstream and organs. 

Inhaling ultrasmall particles, such as nano plastics, can clog the gears of cognitive function because they can enter the bloodstream and brain resulting in an immune response. Foreign particles in the brain can lead to the clumping of amyloid plaque between the neurons which disrupts the brain’s normal processes, eventually impacting cognitive function and your #1 superpower.


  • In 2021 the US exceeded WHO guidelines by 2 to 3 times.
  • Exposure to ambient PM2.5 concentrations at or below current US standards can increase the risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, cognitive deficits, and dementia.

PM 2.5, is not food for thought. 

These ultrasmall particles may enter the brain and enlist an immune response, resulting in neurodegeneration.

Brain chemistry is very sensitive to common indoor gasses, chemicals, and respirable particles.  These contaminants are like sand in your cognitive gears, reducing the brain’s processing speed, resulting in a loose screw or two as seen in the victims of Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s is no joke and demands serious attention because it’s debilitating.

Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most common cognitive disorders, affects approximately 5.1 million Americans and may start in a person’s 30s and 40s and if unchallenged become irreversible in their lifetime.

To run a great company, the corporate athlete needs a sharp intellect, and functional communication skills to pass on the baton of ideas to teammates.  We exist in a competitive corporate game so it’s smart to leverage and fine tune where we can and IAQ is a kingpin lever to pull because it affects physical, and mental health, support cost reduction in health care, and maintenance, while improving attendance, and trust.

Small and Hungry

The brain makes up only a small fraction of our total body mass yet represents the largest source of energy consumption—accounting for over 20% of total oxygen metabolism, even more, when a corporate athlete’s brain is in overdrive.  Of this, it’s estimated that neurons consume 75%–80% of the energy produced.  Let’s be smart and give love to our busy bee neurons by simply improving the quality of indoor air.

What results when you improve intellectual productivity by 1%
within one department or your entire workforce?

Harnessing intellectual power is easier than squeezing for more productivity.  Levering air quality is a multipronged approach to improve productivity for a company’s number one asset, people, and cognitive functions.  Consider making brains work better by supplying clean air for fuel, then measure the results and duplicate the actions through your company’s building portfolio.  Let’s work together Implementing IAQ improvements, so all can witness the science and benefits.

Abuse it and lose it.

The better the air the better we fare.

  • Indoor air quality can be better than outdoors, yet typically it’s worse because of high levels of CO2, chemicals, and PM2.5. These undetected hazardous contaminants are slowly accumulating in us and discoloring the clear water of our intellect.
  • Most things we abuse wear out and break earlier than necessary and our massively intricate and complex brains are no exceptions.

What results when you improve intellectual productivity by 1%
within one department or your entire workforce?

  • High performance requires the appropriate environment.
  • Providing clean fuel is essential for consistent high performance.
  • We all want a robust intellect, providing reason and communication.
  • A conference room full of sleepy-eyes, and unfocused attention is likely under ventilated, and more coffee is a poor substitute for air with appropriate Co2 levels.
  • Maintaining the CO2 in the proper range is reflected in a conference room where eyes are bright, minds are sharp, creativity and problem-solving ideas flow.

Air Quality Affects Cognition

Outdoor air pollutants such as PM2. 5 can penetrate indoor environments and a growing body of research confirms indoor and outdoor air pollution diminishes cognitive function.  Because PM 2.5 is small enough to bypass the body’s natural air filtration system, and enter the bloodstream, heart, and brain.

Reinforcing the neurological evidence, studies have found associations directly between air pollution exposure and cognitive outcomes, including reduced verbal and nonverbal IQ, memory, test scores and grade-point averages among school children, as well as other neurological behavioral problems.

A dependable high performing brain requires clean and proportionally balanced air.  It’s important we don’t crowd oxygen (O2) with too much carbon dioxide (CO2) or other gasses and contaminants, such as PM2.5.

First Signs Of Cognitive Decline?

It’s a sad day when one realizes that their memory is not as quick as it was.

First signs of cognitive regression:

  1. Forgetting appointments and dates, recent conversations and events and feeling increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions and plans.
  2. Having a hard time understanding directions or instructions.

A dependable high performing brain requires a lot of clean and proportionally
balanced air. Oxygen to our hungry brain,
is like sweet honey to a bear.

Crowded And Congested

With crowds comes congested air because people and personal items shed, and we exhale carbon dioxide.  Without adequate ventilation known as air changes per hour (ACH) and or additional air purification, the quality of the air is degraded which has an impact on people’s performance, well-being, and company bottom line.

The trouble with PM 2.5 is that it’s small enough to bypass the body’s natural air filtration system, and enter the bloodstream, heart, and brain.  That’s why PM2.5 is associated with heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Early onset Alzheimer’s can occur in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain.  It’s the most common cause of premature senility.  Alzheimer’s disease slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Symptoms may include:

  • Increased memory loss and confusion.
  • Inability to learn new things.
  • Difficulty with language and problems with reading, writing, and working with numbers.
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts and thinking logically.
  • Shortened attention span.
  • Problems coping with new situations

Strategies And Actions

Discovery, Implementation, Quality Control

  1. Contact IAQ Health today and let’s talk about your specific needs, then connect our ergonomic consultant to your designated Healthy Building personal, and move forward to a cleaner, better feeling, more productive future.
    1. Discovery: Consultation, assessment, and report
    2. Implementation: Design, remediate, and installation
    3. Quality Control: Monitor, modify, and maintain

Save The Day

Call today for a better way to start the day.   As a breath of fresh air is paramount to health, wellbeing, and productivity.


Strategies for clean air

Your path to success includes assessment, remediation, upgrades, quality control and monitoring.

Better Quality Of Life

Combining science and experience we move forward to increase productivity by removing hidden environmental stressors.

With over 30 years of experience in creating healthy buildings, our ergonomic consultants are here to assist you in combining sensor technology with air purification devices. This layering of IAQ technologies and services are proven to level up indoor air quality.

To re-occupy our buildings, we need to hurdle some invisible challenges such as communicable diseases, hidden mold, ultrasmall respirable particles, and odorless chemicals, which combine to create environments that are counterproductive. 

Focus, flow, cognitive performance, and emotional flexibility are skills necessary for today’s corporate athletes, and they are all enhanced by clean, fresh, oxygenated, indoor air quality.

Act now to improve your IAQ Health, productivity, and energy efficiency by installing sensors and monitoring your IAQ hazards then implementing IAQ Health Eco Suite strategies that prevent, neutralize, and remove invisible, odorless, airborne pollutants from your occupied spaces, making them conducive to health, problem-solving, creativity, and safe social interaction.

The reduction in absenteeism and healthcare insurance costs is an enriching benefit. Also, the achievement of these goals aligns your building with the International Well-Built Inst. (IWBI) certifications that are held by 20% of Fortune 500 businesses.

Free Consultation

Let’s chat

Need to get in touch with us? We’d love to chat about how we can help identify the IAQ challenges of your indoor spaces.

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