What can contaminate my indoor air?
Clean air is essential for good health, and this is especially true when it comes to indoor air.
As Canadians, we spend close to 90% of our time inside; at home, at work and in recreational environments. Most people, however, are unaware of the effects that poor indoor air quality can have on their health.
Once the cooler seasons arrive we begin to spend more and more time indoors. Our indoor environment becomes our version of hibernation through the winter months. This is why it is important to have your home properly inspected for any air quality concerns you may have.
Indoor air quality has become an important health and safety concern. Common issues associated with IAQ include:
- Improper or inadequately maintained heating and ventilation systems
- Contamination by construction materials, glues, fibreglass, particle boards, paints, chemicals, etc.
- Increase in number of building occupants and time spent indoors
IAQ problems result from interactions between building materials and furnishing, activities within the building, climate, and building occupants. IAQ problems may arise from one or more of the following causes:
- Indoor environment – inadequate temperature, humidity, lighting, excessive noise
- Indoor air contaminants – chemicals, dusts, moulds or fungi, bacteria, gases, vapours, odours
- Insufficient outdoor air intake
Here are examples of common indoor air contaminants and their main sources:
- Carbon dioxide (CO2), tobacco smoke, perfume, body odours – from building occupants
- Dust, fibreglass, asbestos, gases, including formaldehyde – from building materials
- Toxic vapours, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – from workplace cleansers, solvents, pesticides, disinfectants, glues
- Gases, vapours, odours – off-gas emissions from furniture, carpets, and paints
- Dust mites – from carpets, fabric, foam chair cushions
- Microbial contaminants, fungi, moulds, bacteria, – from damp areas, stagnant water and condensate pans
- Ozone – from photocopiers, electric motors, electrostatic air cleaners
It is common for people to report one or more of the following symptoms:
- Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin
- Shortness of breath
- Hypersensitivity and allergies
- Sinus congestion
- Coughing and sneezing
People generally notice their symptoms after several hours at work and feel better after they have left the building or when they have been away from the building for a weekend or a vacation.
Many of these symptoms may also be caused by other health conditions including common colds or the flu, and are not necessarily due to poor IAQ. This fact can make identifying and resolving IAQ problems more difficult.
If you believe your living environment may have insufficient air quality, CALL TODAY! for peace of mind we are just a phone call away! Serving all of Saskatchewan & Alberta, a friendly air quality specialist can come to your home and give you the answers you and your family need!