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What Is Indoor Air Pollution?

  • Apr 05, 2022
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A person inhales about 30 pounds of air each day and 90% of that air is inside buildings, so it is important to know – what is indoor air pollution? According to the EPA, 30% of all buildings have poor indoor air quality, and that is just based on conjecture because so few buildings are checked for air quality. Using a product like the Winix PlasmaWave 5300 Air Cleaner Model is one way to purify the air in a living space.

What Influences Indoor Air Quality

Most air quality problems originate because of outdoor pollutants that enter a building, the temperature of the air inside, ventilation, humidity, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). While a Surround air purifier can treat the air in a room over 300 square feet, it is much better to address the causes of air pollution so that the air quality is improved even more.

Air Quality in the Workplace

Poor air quality is known to affect the people who work in that type of atmosphere. There are increases in absenteeism, decreased productivity, and lower morale among people working in buildings where the IAQ (indoor air quality) is poor. It is estimated that this can result in approximately an 18% loss of performance.

VOCs and Air Pollution

The leading contributor to volatile organic compounds is aerosol-based cleaning products. It is important to clean because estimates show that thorough cleaning with safe chemicals contributes a great deal to the wellness of the individual.

It is believed that a clean environment can reduce illnesses by as much as 24%, and that contributes to about 34% fewer doctor visits. Both employee and employer benefit from a clean work area because absenteeism decreases by as much as 46%. People enjoy working in a building that doesn’t make them sick.


The Importance of Cleaning

Cleaning crews that switch to green products that have VOCs of 6% or less make one of the best contributions to improved IAQ. Eliminating standing water and decreasing the time that items are wet indoors reduces the opportunity for mold to proliferate. Disposing of cleaning solutions soon after use is another way to reduce moisture and high humidity.

Using cold water to clean with is better than hot. The rising water vapor from hot water can circulate airborne contaminants. When cleaning floors or furniture, using microfiber cleaning cloths and tools is a must. All vacuum cleaners should be equipped with HEPA filters.

Rugs at entryways catch a great deal of the exterior contaminants that would otherwise come into the indoor environment. They should be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis to increase effectiveness.

Other Steps to Take for Good IAQ

Air temperature is one simple factor that has much to do with IAQ. When the thermostat is too low, cold spots can lead to the formation of mold. A setting of 68 to 78 degrees is highly recommended. Additionally, maintaining humidity levels below 70% decreases the opportunity for mold growth.

From the standpoint of ventilation, it is necessary to maintain both intakes of outside air and exhaust from the inside. Ventilation should be at a rate of 15 cubic feet per minute. Indoor carbon dioxide levels should be maintained at 800 to 1000 parts per million.

The changes do cost something to instigate whenever you take steps to improve indoor air quality, but the benefits exceed the costs by more than 10 times.



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Anthony Bourdain By, Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain was the author of the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, in addition to the mega-bestsellers Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour.
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