Did you know that elevated levels of carbon dioxide or CO2 can play havoc with our cognitive ability? In today’s world it becomes all the more alarming because we spend 90% of our time indoors; in rooms with poor air quality and ventilation. Until a few years ago it was common knowledge that carbon monoxide and other VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) caused problems like asthma. CO2 was ignored and was not considered a gas that could be harmful. Yet many types of research conclude otherwise.
With changing lifestyle we tend to spend 90% of our time indoors. Hence it is more important than before to make sure that the indoor air quality is healthy and CO2 levels are maintained at no more than 600ppm. Studies have shown that there are several times in a day when the CO2 in a room spikes to 1000ppm and more. This is indeed an unhealthy level of carbon dioxide and a cause for concern.
Carbon dioxide dissolves in our blood and reacts with the water in our blood to create carbonic acid. This, in turn, dissolves into ions of hydrogen and bicarbonate. If there is an increase in the concentration of hydrogen ions in our blood the blood acidity level increases and creates electrolyte imbalance, causing increased discomfort and decline in intellectual performance. If you feel tired after just a couple of hours of work (when you have had a restful night), feel sleepy at work and cannot focus on presentations, it could mean that the indoor air quality needs to be inspected for CO2.
It is time to take charge and do something about the increased carbon dioxide levels if we do not want a dumber next generation with low IQ levels. Normal humans have an IQ between 100 and 130. People with an IQ of 70 and less are considered mentally handicapped. So with increased CO2 levels, a decrease in the IQ by even 5 points will bring a lot more people into the ‘mentally handicapped’ label unless action is taken immediately. So the next time you feel sleepy or can’t concentrate on a lecture or at the office you should know the culprit is probably not the subject of the meeting or lecture, but the air quality