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Poor Indoor Air Quality – Causes, Symptoms And Effects

Identifying The Causes, Symptoms And Effects Of Poor Indoor air Quality

Poor Indoor Air Quality – Causes, Symptoms And Effects

Last Updated on March 15, 2024

How often do you find yourself reaching for a tissue to soothe a nagging cough or rubbing your eyes to alleviate an unexplained irritation?

Have you ever considered that the air you breathe indoors could be the culprit behind these discomforts? With the vast majority of our time spent within the confines of homes, offices, and other buildings, the importance of indoor air quality cannot be overstated.

This article delves into the often overlooked realm of indoor air quality, uncovering its impact on our health, the primary factors that compromise the air we breathe indoors, and the subtle yet telling symptoms that signal poor air quality.

By understanding these elements, you’ll discover actionable insights and solutions to enhance the air quality in your indoor environments, safeguarding your health and well-being.

Dive into this article to learn about the effects of indoor air pollution, because being aware of how it affects your health can help you make informed changes at home and work.

Key Takeaways

  • Key causes include poor ventilation, biological contaminants, and indoor pollutants.
  • Symptoms of poor indoor air quality vary but can include throat, eye, and nose irritation, skin issues, respiratory problems, and fatigue.
  • Diagnosing air quality issues starts with checking the ventilation system for adequate fresh air supply.
  • Improving air quality aims to prevent health issues, not necessarily to match outdoor air purity.
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Indoor air often has lower quality than outdoor air, primarily due to indoor contaminants. People spend about 90% of their time indoors, making good air quality essential. It is scientifically proven that the quality of air inside buildings is sometimes lower than the quality of air outside.

In fact, that is most often the case especially in homes and office buildings. The worse condition of the air inside buildings often comes from contaminants within that building, and may result to sickness for people who live, work or frequent these buildings.

Main Causes Of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Numerous possible factors can affect the quality of air inside the buildings. As aforementioned, contaminants from the buildings are the main culprits. When a building does not have sufficient ventilation, there is little fresh air getting into the building flush out or dilute contaminates, which leads to their concentration in the air.

Thus, poor ventilation and inadequate fresh air are the main causes of poor quality of air in buildings. Other causes could be biological contaminants, pollutants from processes taking place within the building, and pollutants given off by furnishings or the building itself.

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Common Symptoms Of Poor Air Quality

People exposed to poor air quality indoors do not display fast, acute symptoms. These symptoms are subtle and slow. Normally, the symptoms are different for everyone and other stressors or problems such as heat may make them worse. Some people may not notice them while others may be more sensitive.

It is easy to view people affected by poor air quality as complainers or over-emotional since they symptoms are subjective. To take a more effective problem-solving approach, it is essential to place this issue on a scientific basis. Here are some of the common symptoms people affected by this problem might experience:

• General hypersensitivity reactions
• Irritation of throat, eyes and nose
• Nausea and even dizziness
• Dry skin and mucus membrane
• Wheezing and hoarseness
• Rashes and flushing or reddening of the skin
• Cough and airway infections

Sleepiness, headaches and general mental fatigue

Determine If Your Building Has Poor Air Quality

As aforementioned, symptoms of air quality are subjective and subtle. It is difficult to identify if your building has a problem especially if you have never thought about it before. A simple and excellent place to start is to check the ventilation system.

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You can call in the air quality testing experts to establish if enough air is getting into the building. Scientists recommend that office spaces have at least 5 cubic feet per minute per individual, of outdoor air. There exist similar recommendations for homes and other buildings.

Examine the behavior of people who reside in the building, and be alert to complaints of the common symptoms of poor air quality. Enhancing indoor air quality does not mean you have to make the air pristine and pure as that of the outdoor environment. However, it has to be relatively pure such that occupants do not experience any of the symptoms or illness caused by poor air quality inside their buildings.

The Mold Guy offer air quality testing and mold removal , to help you create a healthier home environment.


 How can indoor plants improve air quality?
Indoor plants can absorb pollutants and produce oxygen, enhancing air quality.

 Are air purifiers effective in improving indoor air quality?
Air purifiers can significantly reduce airborne contaminants, improving indoor air.

 What are the best practices for maintaining HVAC systems to ensure good indoor air quality?
Regular cleaning and filter changes in HVAC systems prevent pollutant buildup.

 How does humidity affect indoor air quality?
Optimal humidity levels (30-50%) reduce mold growth and airborne pollutants.

 Can opening windows improve indoor air quality effectively?
Opening windows allows fresh air in, diluting indoor pollutants and improving air quality.