Indoor Air Quality Concerns Today
All of us face a variety of risks to our health as we go about our day-to-day lives. The Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) states that the air we breathe inside our work place and homes can be up to 2-5X more polluted than outdoor air. Most people are generally unaware of the hazards of poor indoor air quality in hospitals, schools and industrial settings and the health risks they pose. There is no regulatory agency over indoor air quality, it is the responsibility of the building owners to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the occupants.
BloombergBusiness article: The Air in There: Offices, and Issues, That Seem to Make Us Stupid by Eric Roston
Who Is At Risk?
Research indicates that people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, health risks may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors rather than outdoors. Children breathe in 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults do.
In addition, people who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for the longest periods of time are often those most susceptible to the negative effects of indoor air pollution. Such groups include children, the elderly, and the chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease.
What Causes Indoor Air Quality Problems?
Indoor pollution sources that release gases, fumes, volatile organic compounds or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in businesses, public spaces and homes across the world. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the building or home. High temperature and humidity levels also increase concentrations of dangerous pollutants by providing ideal environments for breeding pathogens and mold which can become airborne.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term which refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.
Health Risks From Poor IAQ
Two types of illnesses can result from contaminated indoor air. Sick building syndrome, or SBS, is a physical reaction to multiple low-level contaminants. These contaminants could be chemical (formaldehyde), biological (mold) or physical (heat, humidity and lighting).
IAQ and Your Ventilation System
The purpose of mechanical ventilation systems is to bring in outside air and mix it with a percentage of return inside air, condition the air (heat, cool and humidify), and then distribute it to various areas of the building.
Improving Your Air :: Evaluate and Design A CosaTron System
Indoor air quality problems are difficult to diagnose and solve because of the large number and many types of contaminants or building stressors that can cause problems.