Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)Quality of air inside buildings is represented by:
- Concentration of pollutants; and
- Thermal (Temperature & Relative Humidity) conditions
Effects of Enclosed Space
- Decrease in Oxygen level or Increase in CO2 level
- Increase in temperature and humidity (Dampness)
- Increase in bio-aerosol and odour
- Accumulation of air pollutants
Indoor Air Pollution – A Global Concern Area
- India: Indoor air pollution is one of the top 10 death, disease risk factors
- Ranked among top 5 environmental health risks to public by Environmental Protection Agency
- Carbon based gaseous pollutants (VOCs) indoors could be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoors
Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants
- Fuel-burning combustion appliances
- Tobacco products
- Building materials and furnishings
- Products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies
- Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
- Excess moisture
- Outdoor sources such as Pesticides / Outdoor air pollution
- Pollutants include NO2, CO, VOC, CO2, RSPM (PM10 / PM2.5), SO2, O3, Formaldehyde, Pesticides, Asbestos, etc.
Harmful Effects of Indoor Air Problem
Sick Building SyndromeBuilding occupants experience acute health and comfort effects which are linked to time spent in the building, but no specific cause of illness identified. Not a clinically diagnosable disease.
- Short-Term Effects: Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, Dry or Itchy skin, nausea, difficulty in concentration, symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggravated or worsened.
- Long-Term Effects: These include some respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer.
7 Strategies to improve Indoor Air Quality
4. Use Indoor Plants: Indoor Plants can improve indoor air quality by filtering carbon dioxide; There are plants that are easy to maintain, emit oxygen continuously, and do not need soil – can be grown in glass water bottles (e.g, Money Plant, Sansevieria / Snake Plants, etc). The Snake Plant cleans air better than most other indoor plants as it has the ability to absorb excessive amounts of carbon monoxide. Additionally, it emits oxygen and filters other toxins from the air such as benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Money plant energizes the home by filtering air and increasing oxygen inflow.