EPA Reports on Indoor Air Quality

EPA Reports on Indoor Air Quality

The experts at AirMD who conduct mold and asbestos inspections as well as formaldehyde and VOC testing aren’t the only one who are concerned about the quality of the air in your home and your office.

When you think about what kind of environment the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protects, you’re probably thinking about rivers contaminated by toxic runoff or superfund sites, like the Davie landfill in Broward County, where inorganic compounds, heavy metals and VOCs had contaminated the soil and groundwater. You might be surprised to learn that the EPA also keeps an eye on the quality of the air inside your home, your office, your kids’ school as well as the places where you shop and other buildings.

The EPA and Indoor Air Quality

Why would the EPA be concerned about the quality of the air in our homes, schools and shopping centers as well as our places of employment?

The agency reports that, “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors,¹ where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.²

Obviously, if there’s something wrong with the air we breathe 90 percent of the time, it’s going to have serious impacts on the public’s health. The EPA is also concerned because:

  • People who are often most susceptible to the adverse effects of pollution (e.g., the very young, older adults, people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease) tend to spend even more time indoors.³
  • Indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades due to such factors as energy-efficient building construction (when it lacks sufficient mechanical ventilation to ensure adequate air exchange) and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners.

Threats to Indoor Air Quality

According to the EPA, the pollutants we should be concerned about include:

  • Combustion byproducts such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and environmental tobacco smoke.
  • Substances of natural origin such as radon, pet dander, and mold.
  • Biological agents such as molds.
  • Pesticides, lead, and asbestos.
  • Ozone (from some air cleaners).
  • Various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from a variety of products and materials.

What to Watch For

According to the EPA, the following symptoms can all be associated with indoor air pollutants:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
  • Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
  • Respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.

If you or your family have experienced any of these health issue and you’re concerned about the quality of the air in your home or workplace, contact AirMD, a leader in VOC testing, asbestos inspections and formaldehyde testing as well as mold testing and remediation.

By Simon Hahessy | Posted in Air Quality Testing