10 Things That Degrade Indoor Air Quality
To live in a place having good indoor air quality is everyone’s desire. But how to achieve good indoor air quality is a question to many as there are many things which can degrade indoor air quality around us.
To this question we can find an answer once we understand about indoor air quality and factors which can degrade quality of indoor air.
What is indoor air quality?
Indoor air quality simply refers to the quality of air within and around building and structures. Indoor air quality is said to have an effect on health and comfort of occupants.
The quality of indoor air depends on some parameters/pollutants viz;
- Air velocity
- Relative humidity
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
- Nitrogen oxide (NOX)
- Particulate matters (PM 2.5 and PM 10)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)
Increase or decrease in above parameters/pollutants degrades indoor air quality. But with knowing the parameters/pollutants, we should also know the things which are responsible to degrade indoor air quality.
10 things that degrade indoor air quality
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Deterioration of indoor air quality simply means causing discomfort and creating unhealthy environment for occupants. Bad quality of indoor air will have ill effects on our health.
To understand how indoor air quality can be degraded/destroyed continue reading below list of 10 things that degrade indoor air quality!
- Improper ventilation:
Ventilation helps in exchanging indoor air and outdoor air. Improper ventilation may not bring in sufficient fresh air indoors and thus it can degrade quality of indoor air.
Dust will be on top of the list of things that degrade indoor air quality. Dust usually contains pollens, particulate matter like RSP, PM 10 and PM 2.5 and is said to trigger respiratory allergies in some people. Thus presence of dust can degrade indoor air quality.
- Use of Synthetic Personal Care products:
Some synthetic personal care products like fragrances, deodorants have high volatile or semi volatile chemicals present in them, which are responsible for causing skin irritation, allergic reactions, etc
- Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s):
VOC’s are toxic gases which can cause cancer, damage central nervous system, irritation of eye, etc. VOCs will be also one of major contributor to degrade indoor air quality. Indoors, VOC’s can be released by paints, wood preservatives, carpet dyes and fibres, cleaners and disinfectants.
- Formaldehyde released by furniture, mattresses, nail polish:
Indoors formaldehyde can be released by glues and adhesives, nail polish, furniture, clothing and mattresses. Formaldehyde is a toxic gas and it causes throat, nose, eye irritation and could also cause asthma.
- Biological contaminants
Viruses, Bacteria, Mold, fungi, Insects are some of the Biological contaminants which are known to spread different types of infections, allergies and diseases.
- Combustion pollutants
Some of the combustion pollutants are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter. These gases or particles are emitted from wood or gas stove, heater, attached garages,
- Second-hand Tobacco Smoke
We all know about the adverse effects of smoking. Smoking indoors with improper ventilation can trap the hazardous chemicals for longer and thus lower the quality of air indoors.
- Insecticides, Pesticides and Herbicides
Insecticides, Pesticides and Herbicides contain toxic gases which can cause disruption of endocrine systems and cancer.
- Building construction materials
Building construction materials like Asbestos can be released indoors from damaged or deteriorating insulations. Asbestos can cause acute and chronic respiratory problems if inhaled.
Indoor air pollution has become a huge problem recently, but we can easily achieve good indoor air quality now that we are aware of some of the major things that can degrade quality of indoor air.
Also read: How to Improve Indoor air quality by using plants