Indoor air quality. It's the air we breathe indoors. Research indicates that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. Therefore, the quality of the indoor air that we breathe is important in maintaining good health.
Poor indoor air quality can contribute to adverse health affects, however all people are affected differently. While some people will have little or no reaction to indoor air pollutants others may experience symptoms including but not limited to congestion, sinus irritation, headache, sore throat, cough and respiratory distress. Many indoor air pollutants are asthma triggers, and exposure to some of these pollutants may lead to increased risk of lung cancer. For these reasons, the pollutants in the air we breathe are of great concern.
The key to good indoor air quality is prevention. Be sure your home is adequately ventilated. This can be done by opening windows and running exhaust fans while cooking, showering, using strong chemicals, etc. You should maintain the relative humidity in your home between 30-50%. Additionally keeping your home clean and maintaining your home in good repair will help prevent many indoor air quality problems.
If you find that you have an indoor air quality problem, there are three main solutions: control of the source of the poor indoor air, increased ventilation, and air cleaning. The most important aspect in controlling indoor air quality problems is identifying the source and eliminating or controlling it.
Listed in this section are some of the main indoor air pollutants and how to prevent or eliminate them. Included are additional resources for information. If you suspect you have a problem, educate yourself and then perform a walkthrough of your home. Using the information and links provided, you may be able to resolve your IAQ problem.