The relationship between indoor air quality and health is a complex one, with the first directly affecting the second. The quality of the air you breathe indoors can have many different effects on your health. That’s why improving the air quality inside your home or office can improve your health significantly.


Indoor air that contains harmful particulates or even moderate levels of air pollution can cause numerous health problems, some of which occur soon after exposure and others that do not present themselves until years after the exposure has taken place.


What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?


The primary cause of poor indoor air quality is sources of indoor pollution that release particles, gases, or toxins into the air. Ventilation that is inadequate can compound the problem by trapping the pollutants within the interior air and failing to dilute the emissions with fresh air. If the temperature level or humidity level is high, it can cause an increase in the concentration of certain pollutants.


What Are the Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality?


Health issues related to poor indoor air quality may appear soon after exposure or years later, depending on the types of contaminants the person is exposed to and the quantity that are inhaled.


The immediate effects of breathing poor quality air indoors include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. These effects are generally short term and will disappear as air quality is improved, typically by increasing ventilation and using high-quality air filters to remove contaminates from the air.


Poor interior quality of air can also exacerbate the symptoms of some common health problems, including asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, causing the affected person’s condition to deteriorate soon after exposure. In many cases, the person’s condition will improve once the person’s exposure to the source of the indoor air pollution is eliminated.


Poor air quality indoors can also result in long-term health problems, with symptoms often showing up years after long or repeated periods of exposure to harmful air pollutants. Many of the long-term health effects related to poor indoor air quality can be severely debilitating or even fatal, including heart disease, some respiratory diseases, and various types of cancers.


Take Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality


Different people react differently to exposure to indoor airborne pollutants, so it is best to try to improve the overall quality of air to prevent anyone from being affected by harmful contaminants in the air. Identifying the source of the air contamination, hiring a professional to identify and remediate molds and other pollutants, consulting your doctor and choosing an air conditioner filter that is capable of removing contaminants from the air will help ensure that the person will not continue to experience adverse health effects due to indoor pollutants in the air.


Jim Gates, CAFS, is the brand manager for Quality Filters, Inc. ( NoniHerbal.com ), a leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality home and commercial air filters. The company’s products are available online at BuyFilters.com ( NoniHerbal.com).


 

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