Last Updated on October 8, 2014
There are plenty of indoor air pollutants that are noted to affect indoor air quality in both homes and offices. It pays to know how to detect each of them and find out ways on how to deal with them later on. Here are the most common pollutants to include on your red flag list:
Asbestos is said to occur naturally in soil. With this fact in mind, you might think that it will not pose any health risk or if it will, there is very little chance your health will be at stake. However, this scenario can change once asbestos gets into your homes and offices without you noticing them at all. Remember that asbestos is a popular building material and can be found in some forms of insulation thus your health can really be at risk with this pollutant around.
In order to detect asbestos in your building materials, you should always go for professional asbestos remediation. Testing some samples will also be a good idea. Once your home or office is tested positive, you can go for a home repair or if you are still planning of building a home or office, you can go for building materials without asbestos in them.
Indoor air pollutants include combustibles ranging from the top pollutants namely carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide to the less complex yet deadly gas flame. As we all know, these materials can be released in many ways from household cooking stoves to furnaces and fireplaces or even tobacco smoke.
Combustibles like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide come with symptoms that can help you detect the presence of such materials in your home or office. Carbon dioxide can result to nausea, confusion and unconsciousness while nitrogen dioxide brings in some irritation to the mucous membrane which translates to other complications like shortness of breath and emphysema.
In order to detect the presence of combustibles at home, it would be best to follow this rule. For carbon monoxide detection, you will need to ask an expert to inspect your appliances. Installing carbon monoxide alarms will also be of help. You can use a separate set of instrument for nitrogen dioxide and all other combustibles. To deal with all these, it will be nice to ventilate your fireplace, stove or space heater with the help of a fan. Opening your windows will also be a good idea.
Mold and mildew
Mold and mildew love breathing in the indoors. They can definitely be considered as notorious air pollutants since these can bring in some health-related risks depending on how sensitive you are with their existence. At times, they can result to skin irritation, nasal stuffiness and wheezing. Several studies have also proven how mold may contribute to a child’s asthma development. Once you have seen such signs or symptoms present in your family members or co-workers, there is reason enough to worry. Mold inspection will be of help in this case.
Fighting mold would mean fighting moisture. It would be good to keep your home or office’s relative humidity below the 60-percent level. Using a fan or a dehumidifier will also be of great help in this situation. Clean mold-affected areas with soap and water.
Radon is considered to contribute to lung cancer. This odourless gas can be found in nearly all soil. Radon is emitted in different levels of decaying uranium. Although it can disappear quickly in open air causing no harm to any individual, there is a big chance that the gas can flow into homes and buildings using foundation gaps as their source of entry.
Dealing with radon can only be made possible with the help of air quality testing. You can also avail of locally-available DIY radon testing kits. However, many people have favoured getting help from a qualified radon inspector than conduct the tests by themselves. From there, recommendations on how to deal with the pollutant can be given.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are commonly found in glue and paint or even in shower curtains or printers. Vapours from such compounds result to what is called the sick building syndrome or in layman’s term, simple headache and nausea. In some extreme cases, long-term risks may also be involved leading to either cancer or even brain damage.
Presence of VOCs in the home or office can be more alarming as it posts average levels that are up to 500% higher than when found outdoors. In order to deal with this complicated compound, it is recommended that you moderately use products with VOC. You can use them outdoors if you really need to but once you use them indoors, it would be best to ventilate the area by using fans and opening your windows.
Dealing with the most common indoor air pollutants can be done best by hiring air quality testing service providers. We at The Mold Guy will be more than willing to extend a helping hand when it comes to such concerns. We want our consumers to be healthy at all times and we assure that with our air quality testing and mold remediation service.