Indoor Air Quality: Causes Of, Testing, and Monitoring Indoor Air Pollution
What causes poor indoor air quality?
Indoor air pollution can be easy to manage once you understand where it comes from. Looking at the image above gives you some idea of the more common sources for poor indoor air quality. In many cases, it comes from chemicals that are part of the things that you bring into your home; the polyurethane common in mattresses, formaldehyde and organic chemicals like dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) used in lots of furniture and other interior elements are all harmful to us humans. Drapes, carpets and other absorbent fabrics can help trap these nasties, along with dust, mites and other allergens, and our modern, mostly airtight homes keep them inside. Remember this: if there are chemicals and VOCs in a product, there are chemicals and VOCs that could come out, and they won't be good for you if they do.
More causes for indoor air pollution
Not having proper ventilation can also help promote mold and other microbial growth, especially in damp climates; if cellulosic materials (like paper, wood and drywall) become moist and fail to dry within 48 hours, mold colonies can propagate and release allergenic spores into the air. As such, a basic way of maintaining the health of indoor air is by the frequency of effective replacement of the indoor air with cleaner outdoor air.
However, knowing the causes of poor indoor air quality is only half the battle. Read on to learn how to test for poor indoor air quality.