Indoor air quality is very crucial when it comes to maintaining a good quality of life. For those who may have younger kids who are at home almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the air their breath literally becomes part and parcel of their health and wellness. Improving indoor air quality then is very important to ensure their good health.
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A study published by the US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health has explained why indoor air quality is important, especially for areas that are largely used by children.
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“Minimizing indoor air pollutants is paramount to high performance schools, due to the potentially detrimental effects that VOCs, particulate matter including allergens and molds, and combustion gases may have on the health and wellbeing of students. In addition to their capacity to trigger asthma or allergy attacks, some of these pollutants are notorious for causing flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Moreover, a recent research suggests that a school’s physical environment also can play a major role in academic performance.”
The full study can be downloaded here.
So what affects indoor air quality?
The United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has mentioned several factors that influence the level of indoor air quality inside a home or commercial property. In the guidelines that they have shared, they mentioned that indoor pollutants, the HVAC System, as well as the property’s occupants affect the indoor environment.
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“The following four elements are involved in the development of indoor air quality problems: (1) Source: there is a source of contamination or discomfort indoors, outdoors, or within the mechanical systems of the building. (2) HVAC: the HVAC system is not able to control existing air contaminants and ensure thermal comfort.(3) Pathways: one or more pollutant pathways connect the pollutant source to the occupants and a driving force exists to move pollutants along the pathway(s). (4) Occupants: building occupants are present.”
Read the rest of the material here.
Homeguides SF Gate meanwhile shared that there are five common factors that affect indoor air quality inside a home and one of those is humidity levels. In their write-up they mentioned that humidity levels can cause molds and mildew to grow, which adversely affect the indoor air quality inside a home or a commercial property. Mold FAQs
“The ideal relative humidity range for indoor spaces is between 30 to 50 percent. If your indoor humidity level reaches above 50 percent, it sets the stage for worsening indoor air quality factors to develop like mold and mildew. If you breathe these particles in, you can experience lung irritation, shortness of breath, respiratory distress, and at worst, a severe illness. If your home humidity level falls below 30 percent, it also spells trouble. Immediate health effects, you may experience include throat soreness, dry eyes and nose, and skin irritation.”
The full write-up can be found here.
When a homeowner suspect poor indoor air quality, he can always seek the services of an indoor air quality professional who can help in assessing the level of indoor air quality in his home or place of business.
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