As we become more health conscious and think about the quality of the air we breathe, here is some information about what we can do to improve indoor air quality. Listed below are sources that may create poor air quality:
- Carbon Monoxide
- Pressed Wood Products/Formaldehyde
- Secondhand Smoke/Environmental Tobacco Smoke
- Bilogical Pollutants
- Chimneys, Stoves, Heaters, Fireplaces
- Respirable Particles
The best way to improve air quality is to remove the sources of pollution or reduce emmissions, such as sealing or enclosing asbestos and adjusting stoves to decrease their emmissions. Ventilation systems should be installed that bring in and circulate the required amount of outside air. In your home, opening windows when possible to allow fresh air to come inside is a great way to freshen things up. High quality air cleaners are built into whole house systems, but can be very expensive. Sometimes there are factors outside our place of work that contribute to unhealthy air being brought into buildings. Engineers or builders have guidelines on ways to eliminate such problems when designing or remodeling offices or other workplaces.
Sources that cause many health problems in the workplace may be dust, fragrances, or smoke. Good housekeeping practices, ventilation systems, managing pesticide applications and microbal contamination are very important for schools, offices, and other workplaces. Workers may complain of asthma, allergies, or headaches, and report chronic issues to their managers. For serious concerns, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts an Health Hazard Evaluation at the request of employees or employers to determine if any substance normally found in the place of employment has potentially toxic effects, including air quality.