New Study Highlights the Deadly Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

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TAMPA, Fla. (April 19, 2016) – A new study out of the UK is taking a closer look at the impact of air pollution on human health, and the findings may surprise you. According to the study, ‘Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution, which was conducted by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, air pollution claims more than 40,000 lives each year in the UK alone.

While the study does not address the impact of these pollutants in Australia we do face similar problems with air pollution, and as a result likely have similar outcomes.

The study shows that in addition to outdoor pollutants such as vehicle emissions, indoor pollutants can also be hazardous. This includes pollutants common in homes and buildings, like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from household cleaning products and air fresheners, carbon dioxide from faulty boilers or heaters, mould, pet hair, formaldehyde, dust mite, pollen, cockroach allergen, bacteria, legionella, etc….

“ Biological pollutants can harbour in multiple locations within ones building without visual evidence,” said Alan Wozniak, CIAQP, CIEC, CAB, President and CEO of Pure Air Control Services, a professional indoor environmental quality firm located in Clearwater, Fla. “Common hiding or breeding grounds for these pollutants include air handling systems – in the coils, drain pans and blower assemblies, ductwork, fibreglass insulation, carpeting, interstitial walls, refrigerator pans, crawlspaces, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and bathroom shower pans.”

According to the UK study, indoor air pollutants caused or contributed to 99,000 deaths in Europe in 2012 alone. The problem for many is that they don’t know that they are breathing in these toxic chemicals.

Study authors wrote, “…consideration of particular exposures in the home, public places, schools/colleges, hospitals, workplaces and transport is very important in assessing impacts of the breathed environments on our health and wellbeing. Useful indicators of indoor air quality are measured levels of CO2 [carbon dioxide] or total VOCs.”

The authors note that measurement of the pollutants alone is not an indicator of potential health effects, but they do signal problems with air quality, which is useful for remediation purposes. Affordable test kits are available through to test for these indoor pollutants, including tests for formaldehyde, radon, lead, organic vapors (VOCs), mould, dust, smoke and allergens. From there, people can actively seek to remove the source and reduce their risk of adverse effects.

“These tests will give people peace of mind knowing that their environment is not causing them or their families’ physical harm,” said Wozniak. “It’s a small price to pay to know that you and your loved ones are safe.”

If a more detailed analysis of your  business or home is necessary a “professional industrial hygiene/building sciences evaluation” can be organised by the team at HeatCool


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