Clean Air Month Focuses on IAQ Issues
Since 1972, Clean Air Month, sponsored by the American Lung Association, happens every May. Originally one week long, this annual event expanded to the entire month in 1994. Today many states and communities host events to raise awareness about the importance of good air quality both indoors and out.
Importance of Air Quality
Air quality affects every living thing on the planet. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports that more than 6 million people a year worldwide die as a result of air pollution. Nearly 30% of air quality-related deaths are from cardiopulmonary ailments such as chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, and stroke! The quality of outside air can vary depending on conditions like industry and climate. This can make it difficult for people to avoid certain pollutants in their communities. But controlling indoor air makes it safer, right? Not exactly.
Clean Air Month also puts a spotlight on indoor air quality (IAQ). Consider that we spend 90% of our time indoors. The World Health Organization reports that a third all buildings globally classify as “sick”.
Many factors related to design, utilization, and maintenance lead to Sick Building Syndrome. For example, some of these include building pressurization, humidity, temperature, and ventilation. Unfortunately, if a building goes out of balance in any of these areas IAQ problems can occur. For example, if there is infiltration outside contaminants get brought inside. When ventilation is poor, then carbon dioxide and other gases can build up. If temperature and humidity rise bacteria and mold begins to grow. All of these situations affect the well-being of occupants. Clean Air Month is a good time to address them.
Common Indoor Pollutants:
- Animal Dander
- Carbon Dioxide
- Carbon Monoxide
- Fungi (Mold)
- Insect Detritus
- Particulate Matter
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
Even though pollutants and allergens affect people in different ways it’s important to detect them. Type, quantity, concentration, and the pollutant and the sensitivity of the individual determine how severe symptoms are. Pollutants buildup in HVAC systems and then circulate through the building. This makes HVAC and duct hygiene a central focus in maintaining optimal IAQ.
Identify & Minimize Risk During Clean Air Month
Because Clean Air Month brings awareness to indoor air quality, it’s a good time for homeowners to test for pollutants. The main thing to know is the baseline conditions in the house. It all starts with IAQ testing. Indoor Air Test, provides a variety of specialized test kits for the common pollutants listed above. As a result, these test kits offer do-it-yourself ease of use to take samples and send them to the lab for analysis.
After the lab work has been completed a report is sent detailing the outcome of the test and present conditions. This report can then be used to find a solution should an issue be found. Sometimes, the outcome might require more comprehensive professional IAQ testing or remediation. Of course, one proactive measure to ensure good IAQ is to regularly change HVAC filters, keep your ducts clean and make sure you have good housekeeping practices, including using low VOC/Odor cleaning products.
Clean Air Month promotes awareness of both outside and indoor air quality. Indoor Air Test supports these efforts by providing education and testing options that help improve IAQ for building occupants.
Learn More About Clean Air Month
Improve indoor air quality today. Start with our DIY IAQ Test Kits, Or call us at 727-572-4550 with questions