Podiatrists: what are the occupational risks related to indoor air quality and how to protect yourself?


Candice Plana has been a podiatrist for 13 years. Based in Talence, Gironde, she took over her father’s practice, which had been open since 1973, five years ago.

She explains for NatéoSanté the risks linked to the profession of podiatrist, the effects of indoor air quality (IAQ) on health and how she decided to protect herself by choosing professional air purifiers.

Podiatrists are highly exposed to particles and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

The profession of podiatrist is one of the most exposed to indoor air pollution, as the activity requires the use of many chemicals and also exposes podiatrists to fine particles.

As podiatrists, we are extremely exposed to pollutants: fine particles and dust when sanding, during care and when shaping insoles, but also Volatile Organic Compounds, solvents and chemical products that can be used when disinfecting instruments or surfaces.

Candice Plana, podiatrist

The air in the workshop where the insoles are made is very polluted because of the glues and solvents.

The air in the workshop where the insoles are made is very polluted because of the glues and solvents.

In addition, the consultation room and the waiting room receive, throughout the day, patients who cross each other and who can be potential vectors of viruses or diseases, especially in winter.

As Candice Plana’s practice has been open for about 50 years, its walls, floors and furniture have also been exposed to the effects of this air pollution throughout the years, becoming contaminated with these toxic pollutants.

There are many occupational risks related to indoor air quality:

  • Respiratory problems (asthma, allergies, polyps, etc.)
  • Unpleasant odours (for both podiatrists and patients)
  • Headaches
  • Eye disorders

My father, who used to work in the practice, developed nasal polyps from inhaling indoor air pollutants over many years. I obviously want to avoid contracting such a disease, so I am trying to prevent the risks associated with indoor air quality“, says Candice Plana.

Patients bothered by the odours of the practice

Adhesives, solvents and chemicals used by podiatrists daily are also sources of unwanted odours.

An unpleasant odour is synonymous with pollution in the air. This is a first level of warning that should not be ignored. Odours can be more or less annoying, especially for patients who are not used to be in contact with the products used in the podiatry practice.

I used to get a lot of complaints from my patients about odours that bothered them, odours that I myself no longer noticed, except when I was working in the gluing area in my workshop. You have to remember that the practice has been operating for 50 years, so the odours were very much present“, explains Candice Plana.

NatéoSanté air purifiers: exclusive technologies that eliminate indoor air pollution

In her search for solutions to prevent occupational diseases due to her job as a podiatrist, Candice Plana wanted to equip her practice with professional air purifiers, which would be effective, but also easy to install and use.

Firstly, she wanted to assess the pollution levels in the office in order to get an idea of the degree of pollution that the walls, floors and furniture were impregnated with after decades of exposure.

EOLIS Air Manager, NatéoSanté's professional air purifier, in a treatment room of a podiatrist's practice

It took months for the VOC and particle levels of EOLIS Air Manager to drop, as the pollutants were so deeply soaked in the air.

Candice Plana chose NatéoSanté and its range of professional air purifiers for several reasons: “I was attracted by the French manufacture, which is synonymous with easy after-sales service. I also chose these air purifiers because I was sensitive to their modern and refined design, the quality of the materials, their components, the filter unit and its thickness, which is composed of several layers: activated carbon filter, HEPA H13 filter… to purify well the air in the practice.

After discussing with a NatéoSanté IAQ expert, she tested the system by installing two EOLIS Air Manager 1200S: one in the consultation and treatment room (36 m2) and one in the insole manufacturing workshop (12 m2).

In my practice, it took about nine months for the VOC and PM2.5 sensors to drop to their lowest levels, which shows how deeply the pollutants were impregnated in the premises.

Candice Plana, podiatrist

Thanks to an exclusive filtration system (virucide filter, very high density activated carbon filter, HEPA filter and oxidation filter) as well as technologies such as UV-C or active oxygen, EOLIS Air Manager is the professional air purifier adapted for extremely polluted environments, such as podiatry practices. It tackles all sources of pollution, whether chemical (VOCs), organic (micro-organisms) or particulate.

The EOLIS Air Manager air treatment system tackles all sources of pollution

The EOLIS Air Manager air treatment system tackles all sources of pollution

Short and long-term benefits

Once the VOC and PM2.5 levels have dropped to reasonable levels, the professional air purifier maintains healthy indoor air quality, while eliminating unpleasant odours and protecting the practitioner and her patients from potential illness. A before-and-after effect was felt as soon as the devices were installed: “I have no more complaints from patients about odours. The presence of the air purifiers is also reassuring for them and for myself, especially during the COVID-19 period.

Podiatrists’ offices are subject to high concentrations of various sources of pollution, particularly fine particles and chemical compounds.

In order to protect themselves from this pollution and to provide the optimal care environment for their patients, these practitioners must control and maintain good air quality in their offices.

As an IAQ specialist since 2009, NatéoSanté offers a range of air purifiers dedicated to professionals working in highly polluted environments. With this expertise, we support podiatrists in their efforts to improve the indoor air quality of their offices.

Discover Candice Plana’s testimony in video:

Latest News

NatéoSanté’s latest articles