What are the Sources and Effects of Indoor Pollutants

Indoor air quality is the quality of air inside and around buildings. The comfort and health of occupants depend on indoor air quality as well. It is important to control pollutants indoors to improve air quality. You can use an HVAC IAQ solution. You may experience immediate effects of exposure to the pollutants or it may take years to see the effects.

Immediate Effects

Some effects may appear immediately after single or repeated exposure. You may experience symptoms including fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and eye, throat, and nose irritation. These are immediate short-term effects that are easily treatable. Avoiding exposure or eliminating the source of pollution can also treat the immediate conditions. For this, you need to identify the source of pollution. You may experience the symptoms of diseases like asthma. If you are already suffering from such diseases, indoor pollutants can aggravate or worsen your symptoms. 

Whether or not you will experience immediate reactions depends on your pre-existing medical condition and age. Depending on your sensitivities, you may or may not react to certain pollutants. High levels or repeated exposures to pollutants can make you sensitized to chemical or biological pollutants. 

Immediate effects can be similar to the effects of viral diseases such as colds. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether the effects are due to a viral disease or exposure to indoor pollutants. You can determine this if you pay attention to place and time when you experience these symptoms. If symptoms disappear when you move away from the place, you are experiencing these symptoms due to indoor air pollution. You can use an HVAC IAQ solution. Poor outdoor air supply in the room can worsen some of the effects. 

Long-Term Effects 

You may experience some health effects due to long-term, repeated exposure. Repeated, long-term exposure to indoor air pollution can cause heart disease, respiratory diseases and even cancer. Therefore, always try to improve your indoor air quality.

Pollutants causing harmful effects are very common in indoor air. However, it is not easy to tell what level or span of exposure to indoor pollutants causes specific, long-term health problems. Reaction to exposure to pollutants varies from person to person.

Developing a better understanding of specific health effects caused due to exposure to average indoor air quality requires more research. Understanding health problems due to exposure to higher concentrations of pollutants for a short span of time also requires some research. 

What causes indoor air pollution? 

Inadequate ventilation can cause and increase indoor air pollution. Your house may have sources that release particles or gases. These particles and gases cause indoor air pollution. Your house must have proper ventilation to ensure that pollution due to indoor sources is diluted. High levels of humidity and temperature can also increase the presence of pollutants. 

Sources of Pollutants 

The following are the common sources of indoor pollutants:  

1. Tobacco products 

2. Appliances of using fuel

3. Excess moisture

4. Humidification devices, central cooling system, and central heating system

5. Hobbies, or household cleaning and maintenance products 

6. Outdoor air pollution and other outdoor sources like pesticides and radon

7. New carpet, upholstery, or new flooring

8. Furniture made of pressed wood

Not all sources emit the same level of pollutants. Some emit pollutants that are highly hazardous and others emit pollutants that are less hazardous. Sometimes, the concentration of pollutants and hazards from a particular source also depends on the age of the source and its maintenance. For example, if you forget to adjust your gas stove, it can increase the concentration of carbon monoxide in your house. Some sources emit less continuously and others more continuously. Cleaning, smoking, certain hobbies, and activities can also emit and increase concentrations of pollutants. You may also have malfunctioning appliances. If you don’t use certain products or appliances properly, this may also emit pollutants. 

Inadequate Ventilation 

Concentrations of pollutants increase and cause more discomfort and health problems if adequate outdoor air does not enter your house. There should be proper ventilation in your house.