Why Worry About Indoor Air Quality?
The Environmental Protection Agency ranks poor indoor air quality among the top five environmental risks to public health. Levels of pollution inside can be 2 to 4 times higher (as much as 100 times higher) than outside air, and people typically spend up to 90 percent of their time inside
Types of Pollutants
Allergens such as pet hair or dander
Toxins such as lead, pesticides, ionizing radiation)
Irritants such as formaldehyde
Asphyxiants such as carbon monoxide
Pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, mold
Carcinogens such as asbestos and radon
Mutgens such as PAHs (byproducts of fuel burning) and radon
Forms that Pollutants Can Take
Common Sources of Indoor Air Quality Problems
Water is the #1 source of indoor air pollution
Bedding - after two years, 1/3 of the weight of a pillow is from contaminants (including dust mites) and dead skin cells. Consider purchasing good-quality pillow, mattress and box spring encasings.
Furniture and carpeting
Poorly maintained air conditioning system and/or dirty ducts. Change or clean your a/c filter regularly and have your ducts cleaned.
Local outside environment
Chemical storage - do not store chemicals near or and an air conditioning vent as that can distribute pollutants in the air you breathe
Personal hygiene products such as hair spray, air fresheners, spray-on sunscreen
Second-hand tobacco smoke
If you feel that you may have an indoor air quality problem, here are some questions to ask:
When did the problem start?
What things changed during that time?
What is the core problem?
Are there any other possible causes?
Radon testing kits can be acquired at:
Home Depot, Lowes or other large hardware retailers
Associated Radon Services www.radonserv.com
The American Lung Association does not recommend the use of devices that intentionally create ozone for the purpose of air cleaning or odor removal. Ozone is a powerful lung irritant. Ozone can reduce lung function. Low levels of ozone are not effective in removing most common household pollutants.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
American Lung Association
1-800-LUNG-USA or www.LUNGUSA.org
Clean air has no smell! If it has an odor, it is polluted!
Poor air quality can affect the health of your family. Many factors can affect air quality, and eliminating the source of pollution, increasing ventilation, and maintaining air conditioning systems regularly are the most effective methods of improving indoor air quality. Don't rely on "quick fixes."
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