Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is an emerging environmental issue that can affect any occupied indoor space. The term IAQ is generally used to refer to chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of indoor air that adversely affect the comfort and/or the health of the occupants of a given space. Recent media attention given to toxic mold and the related health effects and resulting litigation, has led to new interest in, and attention to, indoor air quality in homes, commercial buildings, schools, and hospitals.
Brief facts about Indoor Air Quality
According to the American College of Allergies, 50% of all illness is aggravated or caused by polluted indoor air.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) themselves declare that indoor air is anywhere from 2 to 10 times more hazardous than outdoor air.
The EPA also warns us that the indoor air quality is the United States’ number one environmental health problem.
Today’s homes and buildings are built air-tight, and contain a long list of pollution sources. As a result, natural air-cleansing agents such as ozone and negative ions are kept out, while contaminants are kept in.
A recent study found that the allergen level in super-insulated homes is 200% higher than it is in ordinary homes.
According to Scientific America, a baby crawling on the floor inhales the equivalent of 4 cigarettes a day, as a result of the outgassing of carpets, molds, mildews, fungi, dust mites, etc.
Most people spend well over 90% of their time indoors. In which case, indoor air is going to impact our health far more than outdoor air.
The EPA informs us that 6 out of 10 homes and buildings are “sick”, meaning they are hazardous to your health to occupy as a result of airborne pollutants.
Other Interesting Facts Related to Indoor Air Quality
Many peopledevelop allergic reactions to allergens found within the home. These include allergens produced by house dust mites, domestic pets, such as cats and dogs, cockroaches and some types of fungus. Household allergens can cause a variety of allergic symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion and a runny nose, wheezing, breathlessness and mild, moderate or severe asthma. In some cases, exposure to indoor allergens can cause allergic skin disease also known as eczema (or atopic dermatitis).
between 1900 & 1990, more than 30 million tons of asbestos fibers were used commerciallyin the United States. Most widely used between 1940 & 1970, asbestos is still used today in limited construction applications added as an ingredient in the manufacture of numerous products.
cases have increased by more than 100% since 1976. About 1 in 9 children now have asthma.
Bacterial organisms are everywhere. They are in our homes and schools, in our foods, and in the air we breathe. Your body is marvelously designed to fight bacteria when it enters your body through a cut or another means. While some bacteria is necessary in your body, too much, or the wrong types, can cause serious problems.
Are you planning to buy or rent a home built before 1978? Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead (called lead-based paint). Lead from paint, chips, dust and even the toy’s your child play’s with can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly.
growth can begin to occur in as little as 24 hours after a water intrusion has occurred, and often times may be hidden inside wall cavities and undetectable without the use of specialized moisture detection equipment.
is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and allergic reactions can be immediate or occur after multiple exposures over a period of time.
Referred to as “black water”. Grossly unsanitary water containing pathogenic agents arising from sewage or other contaminated water sources and having the likelihood of causing discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans. Toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination, regardless of visible content or color.
(Volatile Organic Compounds) Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.