Indoor Air Quality is the air quality in a home, especially as it relates to the health and comfort the occupants. Recognizing and minimizing common pollutants indoors can help reduce indoor health issues. Effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced immediately or, years down the road.
Immediate Health Impacts
Health effects may appear directly after an exposure or repeated exposures to pollutants. These problems include eye, nose, and throat issues; headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These effects are usually short lived and easily remediable. The treatment is typically as simple as eliminating the person's exposure to the pollution. After exposure to indoor air pollutants, people with health issues like asthma may be aggravated or worsened. In most cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants after repeated or high-level exposures. Effects of indoor pollutants are similar to those from colds, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution. Because of this, it is very important to focus on the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms disappear when a person is away from a certain area, efforts should be made to discover indoor air pollutants and their probable causes. Effects may also be worsened by an inadequate number of air changes in the home.
Enduring Health Effects
Some health effects may show up years after exposure has occurred or after frequent periods of exposure. The effects include respiratory diseases, heart disease, and even types of cancer. They can be incapacitating or even fatal if not treated. It is important to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not visible. Pollutants that are normally found indoors can cause many harmful effects. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding prolonged periods of exposure and health problems. Individuals react very differently to indoor air pollutants.
Some Common Pollutants Include:
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
- Secondhand smoke.
- Lead particles.