When someone asks me what I do for a living, it always is followed up with.. So, what is indoor air quality, and is it something I need to be concerned with? Simply put, YES! We spend 90%of our lives indoors. At least 8 hours sleeping at night, and most likely 8 hours working in an office or going to school.
The air that you are breathing has a direct link to your overall health. There has always been a lot of interest in air pollution caused by cars, trucks, toxic industries, garbage dumps, etc. But until now, we have always assumed that the air in our homes were safe. But the Environmental Protection Agency states that the air in our homes is 2 -5 times more likely to be polluted, than outdoor air.
Simply put, if there is not enough ventilation (fresh air) in your home, the levels of carbon dioxide can be making your family sick.
The most common culprit of indoor air quality issues are mold. Everyone is exposed to mold on a daily basis without evident harm. It is common to find mold spores in the air inside homes. Mold spores primarily cause health problems when they are present in large numbers and people inhale many of them. This occurs primarily when there is active mold growth within home, office or school where people live or work.
But there are many more sources of indoor air pollution in our homes that a licensed and insured indoor environmentalist can identify. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and of course pollution from the air outdoors.
Most recently, we have been hearing about VOCs ~ Volatile organic compounds. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products that number in the thousand that we use on a regular basis. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.
All of these indoor air pollutants may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.
RJF Environmental Consulting Services Inc. mission is to investigate indoor air pollution, develop solutions, and promote healthy indoor environments. We can no longer take the quality of our indoor air for granted.
If you are suffering from any of these common symptoms of exposure to indoor air pollutants: headaches, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, itchy nose, and scratchy throat, you should have an indoor air quality inspection done in your home. More serious effects are asthma and other breathing disorders and even cancer.