Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term used to refer to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.
Indoor Air Quality Facts from the EPA
• The Environmental Pollution Agency(EPA) ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental dangers
• You spend about 90% of your time indoors. This is bad news if your IAQ is bad.
• The quality of the air in your home can be 2 to 5 times worse than the air outside.
• Severe allergies and asthma have become more and more common in children.
• The EPA also states that indoor air pollution is a problem in all types of homes, whether it’s in a dense urban city or and rural town.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Sources of pollution include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, radon, volatile organic compounds(VOCs), biological pollutants, pesticides and indoor particulate matter. Understanding and controlling common indoor pollutants can help reduce health issues. The effects on your health from indoor pollutants can be felt soon after exposure or even years later. Sources of indoor pollution release gases or particles into the air and are the biggest cause of indoor air quality issues. An inadequate amount of ventilation can increase indoor levels of pollution because the outdoor air dilutes the emissions. Humidity levels and higher temperatures can cause concentrations of pollutants in the home.
Health Effects of Indoor Air Pollution on Human Health & Environment
There are health effects that can happen after just one exposure to a pollutant. This can include eye irritation along with throat and nose irritation, dizziness, headaches and fatigue. These symptoms are usually short-term and can be easily treated. If the source of the pollution can be identified, then it may be as easy as elimination it. Some indoor air pollutants bring on asthma, ether by aggravating it or making it worse. Some people are more sensitive to pollutants and will be affected differently. These symptoms can be a lot like those from a cold of the flu, making it hard to figure out what might be causing it. You will need to closely monitor when the symptoms come on and if they go away after eliminating the source. Long term effects can show up years after exposure. Long-term effects can include respiratory diseases, heart disease and even cancer. These health issues can make every day life more difficult and can be fatal. For this reason, it’s imperative to maintain the best air quality in your home that you can.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
1. Ventilation. Improve ventilation by decreasing the concentration of pollutants in the home.
2. Air filters. Use HEPA filters to keep the air in your home as clean as possible.
3. Dust. Use a damp cloth to remove particulate matter. Dusters will just spread it around.
4. Remove air contaminants. Avoid using harsh chemicals to clean and to freshen the air in your home.
5. Go outside. Fresh air does wonders for your health!
6. Air duct cleaning. Air duct cleaning removes all the dust, pollutants and contaminants circulating through your HVAC system and indoor air of your home.