Factors Affecting Indoor Air Quality and Your Health

Factors Affecting Indoor Air Quality and Your Health

We are all aware of issues with outdoor air quality, such as smog alerts, smoke from fires in forests, and industrial pollution. However, indoor air quality degradation is less well-known, even though it may be more detrimental to our short- and long-term health. With the aid of air quality testing, you may ascertain the chemical composition of the indoor air in your home or place of business and work with them to make technological changes to your living space. There are several factors affecting indoor air quality that you should pay heed to in order to make your home a perfect place to be in.

Any building’s indoor environment results from the interactions of the site, the environment, the building system (original design and later modifications in the structure and mechanical systems), methods of construction, contaminants (building materials and furnishings, humidity, procedures, and operations within the building, and outdoor sources), and building occupants.

building's indoor environment

Exposure to poor indoor air quality can have several dangerous long-term health effects. The symptoms of poor air quality can be difficult to distinguish from those of other common illnesses like the flu or the common cold since they can impact many different body systems and processes.

While these symptoms may range from being merely bothersome to being quite uncomfortable, other, more subtle effects of indoor air pollution can take years to manifest themselves. For instance, the harm caused by asbestos, a once-common home item, may not be discovered for decades after exposure. Similar factors include radon gas, the second-leading cause of lung cancer. 

Complications are also more likely to occur among our families’ youngest and oldest members as well as those who suffer from long-term respiratory problems like asthma or COPD.

  • Particles in the air or vaporized chemicals have the potential to easily injure the delicate tissues of the eyes.
  • By filtering the air we breathe, our nostrils help to protect our lungs, therefore when the air quality is bad, the nose is typically the first organ to suffer.
  • Dust, allergens, odors, and other elements might cause this common allergic reaction.
  • Indoor air quality has a profound impact on our largest organ, the skin. An indication of air pollution may be dry, itchy, or inflamed skin.

There are other, more subtle effects of indoor pollutants that might take years to completely manifest, despite the fact that such symptoms may range from moderately unpleasant to severely problematic. For instance, the harm caused by asbestos, a once-common home item, may not be discovered for decades after exposure. Similar factors include radon gas, the second-leading cause of lung cancer. Our families’ youngest and oldest members, as well as those who suffer from long-term lung disorders like asthma or COPD, are more likely to experience difficulties.

Factors Affecting Indoor Air Quality: Indoor Air Contaminants

Indoor Air Contaminants

The air quality in many residences in Toronto and the GTA is impacted by a number of frequent issues or circumstances. The first step in raising your indoor air quality is to be aware of any potential danger factors that may exist in your house. Professional air quality testing in Toronto may help you identify any specific problems you may be experiencing and how to make long-lasting adjustments to your home’s health and safety. While many do-it-yourself changes can actually enhance indoor air quality. The following are the top ten factors that influence indoor air quality:

  • When these compounds are at room temperature, they become airborne; the aroma of a recently peeled orange is an excellent illustration. Contrary to oranges, many VOCs can be hazardous to our health and are present in a variety of everyday cleaning goods, chemicals, glues, pigments, and other things. 
  • Carbon Monoxide gas can be produced indoors by fuel-burning devices like the heating system and has no color or smell. Sadly, especially in the winter, carbon monoxide poisoning and fatalities are quite prevalent, but they can be easily prevented by utilizing equipment properly and attaching a device that detects carbon monoxide.
  • Indoor air pollutants may persist in humid situations, which can encourage the growth of bacteria and mold.
  • Dust, dander from animals, and other naturally occurring particles that gather and accumulate in our houses can all trigger allergic reactions. Pollen is one of the most prevalent allergens in the world. The use of a HEPA air filter can lower the amount of dust in your house, and quality of air analysis in Toronto can help you identify the exact source of the problem and take steps to eradicate or lessen its impact.
  • An indoor air quality issue that seems too obvious to be on the list is really a lack of fresh air. Inadequate ventilation can result from accidents or bad building design, and it can also make other issues worse.
  • Asbestos, which was often utilized until the 1990s, was originally dubbed the “miracle mineral.” It should be neutralized or eliminated if you notice its existence in your home because it is now suspected of causing a rare type of cancer and irreparable lung damage. It should be treated similarly to toxic waste.
  • This invisible and scentless gas, which is produced by the naturally occurring decomposition of uranium deep under the earth, may get inside your property through foundational holes and accumulate to dangerous amounts.
  • For good reason—many people are adversely impacted by the chemicals in scented items like scents, colognes, aerosols, candles with fragrances, etc—more and more businesses have scent-free policies. Eliminating them can make your home or business more aesthetically pleasing and enhance the quality of the air within.
  • Lead paint may still be present in many older homes; as it ages, it may flake or chip off. It is simple to breathe in lead dust, which can have major long-term health effects.
  • The environment within our home can be significantly impacted by what happens outside. The quality of the air inside your home can be negatively impacted by nearby industries, pesticides, traffic, and a variety of other activities that take place in both urban and rural settings.

Geographic and Local Variations 

Geographic and Local Variations 

On the basis of a single 24-hour average collected from a single indoor sampling station, the air quality of an indoor environment is frequently defined. There is minimal research on the spatial distribution of indoor air contaminants within a structure. As a result, this evaluation also includes current or recent unpublished studies and technical papers that deal with environmental issues but not necessarily indoor air quality. Some of the connections claimed and judgments drawn are obviously not supported by scientific evidence, but rather by plainly stated assumptions.

Between sites inside a building, between structures within a geographic region, and between geographic areas, there are differences in the types of pollutants and the concentrations of each category. This section goes over a few of these connections.

References

  • Geiger, R. The Climate Near the Ground. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • General Electric Company. Final Report on Study of Air Pollution Aspects of Various Roadway Configurations.
  • Indoor pollutants. NCBI National Library of Medicines.
  • Sec 2 of Factors affecting indoor air quality. Epa.gov
  • SafeAir Environmental Inc, Toronto and GTA