How Does Air Pollution Affect Indoor Air Quality?


Is Indoor Air Quality important?  When most people hear the phrase ‘air pollution’, they commonly associate it with big clouds of outdoor smog and car emissions. However, it’s important to note that there are many different types of pollution and that it doesn’t just occur in outdoor environments. In fact, according to the California Air Resource Board, pollution now builds up significantly faster indoors than it did in the past, which has resulted in overall higher levels of indoor air pollutants than outdoor pollutants — some studies say at rates as much as 60% higher.

[bctt tweet=”However, it’s important to note that there are many different types of pollution ” username=”SanAirClean”]

How does this relate to Indoor Air Quality? If an indoor (or outdoor) environment has air that is clean and without pollutants, then it is defined as having good air quality. On the other hand, an environment that is rife with pollutants, either natural or man-made or both, is defined as having poor air quality and poses certain human health risks. The following is a quick look at the common pollutants found in indoor environment, how they degrade air quality, and what impacts it can have on your health:

The Common Sources of Indoor Pollutants

Air pollution is emitted into the air from both natural and man-made sources. Natural sources of air pollution include dust and spores from mold growth, pollen from trees and other plants, and pet dander from dogs, cats, and even birds. Man-made sources of air pollution include things like tobacco smoke, nitrogen oxide from unvented or faulty gas appliances, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and off-gas from products like aerosol sprays, adhesives, cleaning chemicals, glues, and paints.

[bctt tweet=”Man-made sources of air pollution include things like tobacco smoke, nitrogen oxide from unvented or faulty gas appliances,” username=”SanAirClean”]

Now, while many of these indoor and outdoor sources of air pollution existed thirty years ago, the reason why modern Indoor Air Quality environments are largely more polluted than before is due to more tightly sealed homes. Today’s insulative materials are great for reducing heat loss and gain for more energy efficient homes, but without the appropriate venting and filtering equipment, they produce the negative side effect of increased pollutants trapped inside the home or office. The more pollutants that get trapped indoors, the more degraded the air quality of an indoor environment becomes.

The Serious Effects of Indoor Air Pollution and Poor Indoor Air Quality

The tiny particulates that swarm throughout your air environment are the same particulates that you and your family breathe in every day. While some of these pollutants can be ingested without serious harm, others can be life-threatening, particularly for kids and seniors. The following is a quick look at some of the after-effects of poor air quality and indoor air pollution:

  • Formaldehyde is a key chemical used in the manufacturing of building materials and a number of common household products. Unfortunately, once installed, certain building materials and products can release this formaldehyde into the indoor air environment with serious health consequences. Those who ingest formaldehyde even in small amounts may experience throat, eye, and nose irritation and greater risk for certain types of cancer.
  • Pet and rodent dander, dust mites, and other types of bacteria that infiltrate an indoor air environment can trigger and/or exacerbate asthma symptoms as well as the flu and other types of infectious diseases.
  • VOCs and off-gas from chemicals found in some cleaning agents and paints can cause health issues like a loss of coordination, brain trauma, kidney damage, and increased risk for related cancers.

Thankfully, there are steps you can do to reduce indoor air pollutants and improve the overall Indoor Air Quality in your home or business, things like routinely changing your air filter and adding appropriate venting equipment. For more information about these and other air quality improvement tips, contact us today.

[bctt tweet=”Thankfully, there are steps you can do to reduce indoor air pollutants and improve the overall air quality in your home ” username=”SanAirClean”]

For over 20 years, we have been helping people who are working on improving indoor air quality by providing high quality workmanship with unparalleled customer service to both residential and commercial customers. Our staff of professionals are dedicated to serving your specific needs from the moment you contact us until the completion of your remediation project. Visit our website or contact us today for more information or to schedule your mold remediation consultation.

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