indoor air pollution

the affects of indoor air pollution on humans

How Does Outdoor Air Enter a House?

Outdoor air enters and leaves a house by either infiltration, natural ventilation, and mechanical ventilation. In a process known as infiltration, outdoor air flows into the house through openings, joints, and cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings, and around windows and doors. In natural ventilation, air moves through opened windows and doors. Air movement associated with infiltration and natural ventilation is caused by air temperature differences between indoors and outdoors and by wind. Finally, there are a number of mechanical ventilation devices, from outdoor-vented fans that intermittently remove air from a single room, such as bathrooms and kitchen, to air handling systems that use fans and duct work to continuously remove indoor air and distribute filtered and conditioned outdoor air to strategic points throughout the house. The rate at which outdoor air replaces indoor air is described as the air exchange rate. When there is little infiltration, natural ventilation, or mechanical ventilation, the air exchange rate is low and pollutant levels can increase to unhealthy levels. One common way to reduce these unhealthy levels is with air cleaners, which we examine in depth later.
Big image

What is Indoor Air Pollution?

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 and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.
Pollutant Sources
Big image

Indoor Air Pollution and Pets

While many of the sources on this topic cover a good deal of information, they neglect to point out that it can also affect our pets health if we have any, not to mention the fact that they themselves (pets) can cause indoor air quality problems. While we want our pets to be happy and healthy, we also want the same for ourselves, so to reduce the pets influence on our indoor environment, you should clean your pet cages, litter boxes, bedding and other areas they frequently rest often. The areas where your pets sleep and rest will need frequent cleaning to avoid creating large deposits of pet hair and pet dander, prevent the pet hair and pet dander from being re-released into the air, and to reduce pet odors. Pet cages and their bedding can hold large accumulations of hair and dander, so they should be cleaned frequently to remove as much hair and dander as possible. It is important to choose bedding items for the pet that can be washed in a washing machine to make cleaning these items as simple as possible.

What Causes Indoor Air Problems?

There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution.
Big image

Long-term Health Effects

Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.

While pollutants commonly found in indoor air are responsible for many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Further research is needed to better understand which health effects occur after exposure to the average pollutant concentrations found in homes and which occurs from the higher concentrations that occur for short periods of time.

Big image