Indoor pollutants are the number one cause of air quality problems in homes, offices, and other indoor spaces. With regards to air quality, the term “indoor pollutants” can refer to both minor irritants (dust, animal dander, etc.) and major irritants (moulds and chemical vapours that may be emitted from building materials and furnishings).
There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. 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 outdoor air pollution.
Living organisms like mould, bacteria, dust mites, mildew, fungi, bacteria, viruses, dust, soil, pollen, pet dander, dust are known as biological IAQ contaminants. The importance of mould as an indoor air pollutant has grown significantly in recent years.
Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and household products like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously. Other sources, related to activities carried out in the home, release pollutants intermittently. These include smoking, the use of unvented or malfunctioning stoves, furnaces, or space heaters, the use of solvents in cleaning and hobby activities, the use of paint strippers in redecorating activities, and the use of cleaning products and pesticides in house-keeping. High pollutant concentrations can remain in the air for long periods after some of these activities.
Pollutants from combustion appliances include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and wood smoke. All of these substances can reduce indoor air quality in your home/office and negatively affect your health.
Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution if it can be identified. Symptoms of some diseases, including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants.
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