Scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. For many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.
In addition, people who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for longer periods of time are often those most susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution. Such groups include the young, the elderly, and the chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease.
Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources or by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.
Before you test the indoor air quality of your house, you need to know what you're looking for. Environmental Health staff will provide consultations and educational information on common indoor air quality health concerns.
Here are some of the most common indoor air pollutants that could be contaminating your home:
For additional information on Radon or to ask basic questions about indoor air quality, contact the Environmental Health Unit at 269-373-5210.
For information on disposing of Mercury or other household hazardous waste, contact Kalamazoo County Household Hazardous Waste Center at 269-373-5211.
American Lung Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
US Environmental Protection Agency - The Inside Story