What Affects Indoor Air Quality and why is it Such a Concern? Are common questions people ask usually. Here I tell you the answers of what and why.
What Affects Indoor Air Quality
The quality of indoor air not only affects your comfort, it also can affect your health. For this reason, it is imperative that indoor air quality be carefully monitored in order to ensure that your homes air is safe for you and your family to breathe. Factors which contaminate indoor air can come from both indoors and out; however, our lifestyles and products which we use to clean and refresh our home are a main culprit of indoor air pollution especially in the winter months when windows are closed and air circulation is decreased.
Because our homes are insulated in order to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures, it also helps to trap chemicals and other harmful fumes within the air in the home leading to a decrease in indoor air quality. Besides, cleaners, body sprays, perfumes, hair sprays and other cleaning and beauty products, some other materials used within the home are common culprits which decrease the quality of indoor air and add to the pollution of indoor air. One common indoor air pollutant is formaldehyde which is used in many common building materials such as plywood, glues and particle board and is also released from cigarette smoke as well as appliances which burn fuel such as a gas stove.
Benzene is another common pollutant which often decreases the indoor air quality. You can find benzene in many common household products such as paints which are late based, detergents, oils and rubber. Many cleaners, carpet shampoos, spot removers and household adhesives contain trichloroethylene which is a suppressant of the central nervous system. Carbon monoxide is often present in homes where furnaces are old or not properly maintained as well as in homes that use gas stoves. When you combine all of these chemicals with dust, mold and pet dander and you can see why indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality.
Importance of Indoor Air Quality
With all this talk about the indoor air quality in our homes, many people are wondering why the quality of indoor air is so important. Poor quality of indoor air can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and irritation of the throat, nose and eyes. Although these health symptoms may be irritating, they can also lead to other chronic long term health conditions and diseases such as asthma and other respiratory conditions in the short term as well as more serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease if long term exposure to polluted indoor air continues over a long period of time.
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