6 Important Indoor Air Quality Facts

Carroll’s Spring Focus on Indoor Air Quality series – Part 1 of 4

We usually think of air pollution as something outside our home. But the truth is the air inside your house or office can also be polluted – in some cases much more polluted than outdoor air.

In this first post of a four part Spring series on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), we’ll look at some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about indoor air. In future posts, we’ll explore ways to keep your home air healthy.

6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Indoor Air Quality

  1. Most people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors. Most people – especially the elderly – spend almost all their time inside. The problem is…
  2. Indoor air can be two to five times (or significantly more) polluted than outside air – The range of indoor air pollutants includes VOCs, phthalates, mold, pollen, pet dander, radon, and more.
  3. Polluted Indoor air can cause inconvenient – and sometimes dangerous – health issues – According to the American Lung Association, poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of asthma and other chronic respiratory problems, along with headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue. Air-borne toxic mold can also cause health problems, including brain damage.
  4. The number of children with severe allergies and asthma is increasing at an alarming rate. 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. Increases in cases of asthma and other respiratory ailments have been linked to increasingly poor indoor air quality.
  5. Sources of indoor air pollution are all around you. Common sources include:
    • Combustion from gas, oil, kerosene and wood burning stoves and fireplaces
    • Insulation, carpet, pressed wood, and other construction materials
    • Chemical cleaning products, personal care products, glues and pastes
    • Radon, pesticides, pollen, and other outdoor air pollutants
    • Pet dander, dust mites, mold, and viruses
  6. You inhale about 15,000 quarts of air per day. You probably filter the water you drink at home (if you don’t, we can help you with that). But you “drink” far more air than water in a day. – about 15,000 quarts compared for two.

Next week: 6 Tips for Improving Air Quality in Your Home

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