Most people are familiar with the dangers of air pollution outdoors, from the everyday threat of traffic fumes to the noxious smoke of wildfires. But are you aware that indoor air quality deserves just as much concern? The invisible chemicals and pollutants that hover in the air of homes and offices can seriously affect human health. It’s essential to be informed of the risks.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about indoor air quality.
What Is Indoor Air Quality?
Just as it sounds, IAQ (indoor air quality) is a measure of the air quality within and inside buildings and structures. It is a significant health issue in residences, workplaces, and schools. Individuals who are young, elderly, or chronically ill are at high risk of health problems following poor indoor air quality.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
Many factors could lead to reduced IAQ. Some common pollution sources include cigarette smoke, dust mites, pet dander, and mold. Chemicals like lead, radon, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde, which are frequently found in fabrics, cleaning products, paint, and building materials, may also impoverish indoor air quality. The effect of these noxious materials can be worsened by poor ventilation, high temperatures, and high humidity levels.
What Are the Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality?
If you suspect that your health may be suffering from the effects of poor indoor air quality, check for symptoms affecting your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. You may experience irritation in these ideas in addition to fatigue, headaches, and trouble concentrating. The severity of these symptoms depends on individual sensitivities and preexisting medical conditions like asthma, aggravating exposure to some air pollutants. Long-term exposure to hazardous substances like asbestos and radon can also lead to the development of cancer.
What Are Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality?
To discover if your building’s air quality is poor, look for immediate signs like dank odors and stuffiness. Also, look around for moisture condensations on walls or windows, dirty air cooling and central heating equipment, and any areas where mold has developed.
How Can Indoor Air Quality Be Improved?
Take preventative measures like testing for radon gas, installing carbon monoxide detectors, and identifying and eliminating lead sources. It would help if you also dealt with any mold problems, maintain air duct cleanliness, and change furnace filters when needed. Do not disturb asbestos if found, and do not hesitate to contact a professional to handle the removal process. Be wary of all potential air pollution sources, such as construction or renovation nearby or within your home, especially if the site is an older residence. Additionally, you can build regular habits like frequent cleaning to remove dust, use cleaning products with caution, and quit smoking habits.