To maintain these pollutants at acceptable levels, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has established minimum quantities of fresh outdoor air that is to be supplied to buildings in order to dilute and flush out these pollutants. Therefore, it is common practice to measure CO2 levels to determine if these recommended quantities of fresh air are being provided to the space being measured.
The IAQ Index rates the indoor environment as good (“green”) if levels of CO2 are found to be less than 1,000 ppm; marginal (“yellow”) if the CO2 level is in the range of 1,000 to 1,200 ppm; poor (“red”) if the level is in the range of 1,200 to 5,000 ppm; and dangerous (“black”) if the OSHA standard of 5,000 ppm is exceeded.
Here’s a quick video of an indoor air pollution awareness:
Is indoor air quality or IAQ needs a health and safety concern? YES!
- Improper or inadequately maintained heating and ventilation systems.
- Contamination by construction materials, glues, fiberglass, particle boards, paints, chemicals, etc.
- Increase in number of building occupants and time spent indoors.
Via – OSH Answers Fact Sheets
Awareness of these indoor air pollutants should concern you and your family’s health before it becomes a serious problem.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION?
Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants, symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggravated or worsened.
Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.
AND HOW DO YOU IMPROVE THE IAQ IN YOUR OWN HOME?
- Open windows or run air conditioning or ventilation systems to bring in fresh air.
- Clean to get rid of dust and pet fur.
- Fix water leaks to help keep mold away.
- Use bug spray only when absolutely necessary.
- Do not smoke inside.
- If you see or smell mold, clean it up with detergent and water or a mix of no more than 1 cup of bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water. Never mix bleach with ammonia.
- If you smell gas, do not light any flames or sparks and leave the building right away.
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You should know that Indoor Air Pollution causes major health problems. See the inforgraph below:
5 FACTS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF
FACT #1:Indoor Air Contaminants candamage not just yourrespiratory system
The range of indoor air pollutants includes VOCs, phthalates, PBDEs, mold, pollen, pet dander, radon, and more. Most of these qualify as fine or ultra-fine particulate matter that are easily inhaled and can pass into the bloodstream, and even cross the blood-brain barrier. Dry eyes, headaches, nasal congestion, fatigue, and even nausea are common symptoms. Serious problems such as asthma, lung infections, or even lung cancer have been linked to exposure. Particles which enter the bloodstream have been associated with stroke and depression in adults, and children have shown increased systemic inflammation, immune dysfunction, and neural distress.
FACT #2:Poor Indoor Air Quality can trigger asthma
Since the early 1980s, the occurrence of asthma has been on the rise for everyone — all races, classes, and ages. Simply put, asthma is a silent epidemic that has a disastrous effect on quality of life. In 1999, about 20 million Americans suffered from asthma, or about 1 in 14.  In 2011, the number had increased to around 25 million Americans, or 1 in 12.
FACT #3:Furniture can produce Indoor Air Contaminants
Furniture purchased prior to 2006 contained toxic PBDEs — chemicals used as flame retardants. These flame retardants have the possibility of sending toxins into the air. Even after 2006, flame retardants continue to be used. Chlorinated tris (a known carcinogen banned from children’s pajamas in 1977) was reintroduced, and new flame retardant chemicals appear to create the same dangers. Inhalation has been noted as the primary route to exposure.
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FACT #4:Air Freshener is POISONOUS
The NRDC determined most air fresheners contain phthalates, noxious chemicals known to disrupt hormone function in babies and children, interfere with reproductive development, and aggravate respiratory ailments such as asthma. A recent study found the terpenes released by air fresheners interact with ozone to form compounds like formaldehyde and acetone at concentrations which can cause respiratory sensitivity and airflow limitation.
FACT #5:IAQ is a Health Risk
The United States EPA ranks indoor air quality as a top five environmental risk to public health. EPA studies found indoor air pollutants were generally 2 to 5 times greater than outdoor pollution levels. In some cases, indoor air pollution was 100x greater. There are many reasons to why this is the case, including poor ventilation, the burning of toxic candles, use of air fresheners, chemical laden household cleaners, and more.