Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Tue, Dec 2, 2008

Building Basics

The quality of air inside our homes or offices is prone to pollution. Indoor air pollutants include chemicals used in furniture, cleaning supplies and personal care, asbestos in insulation material, microbial pollutants such as mold, pet dander and plant pollen. Carpets, drapes and other fabrics absorb some of these pollutants. Poor ventilation or improper circulation of outside air promotes microbial growth.

Health effects

Some immediate effects of indoor air pollution are irritation of eyes, nose and throat, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Indoor air pollutants may trigger symptoms of certain diseases such as asthma, hypersensitivity, pneumonitis, and humidifier fever.

After several years of exposure to indoor air pollutants some health effects can occur such as respiratory diseases, heart diseases, and cancer.

Indoor Air Quality Facts

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is about 2 to 10 times more hazardous than outdoor air.
  • One report cited by EPA says up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may prompt excessive complaints related to lousy indoor air quality.
  • As per EPA estimation, over 1.4 million buildings in the United States suffer from indoor air pollution.
  • As per the EPA, one out of four new or renovated indoor buildings in the U.S. may be classified as “sick buildings.”
  • The cost of improving office climate saves 8 to 17 times more than the costs of making those improvements.
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