Is Conference Room Air Making You Dumber? – The New York Times

May 19, 2019

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/06/health/conference-room-air.html

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Other scientists who read the study got interested in the subject. A team led by Harvard researchers published similar results in 2016.

They had office workers come into a mock workplace for six days and take the same kind of problem-solving test while exposed to various concentrations of both carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds commonly found in office buildings.

As levels of carbon dioxide rose from 550 ppm to 945 ppm to 1400 ppm, subjects’ scores under most headings declined substantially. (Problem-solving ability also seemed to suffer as levels of volatile organic compounds rose.)

“What we saw were these striking, really quite dramatic impacts on decision-making performance, when all we did was make a few minor adjustments to the air quality in the building,” said Joseph Allen, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who led the study.
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