Air Quality Testing and Its Effects on Your Health

Pollution and environmental hazards are a hot topic right now, and everyone’s worried about the effects on our health. However, it’s suggested that indoor air might be up to 5 times worse than outdoor air, and there are many factors that can affect its quality. With the majority of people spending about 87% of their time in enclosed buildings, including homes, offices, schools, gyms, etc., now’s a great time to consider the quality of the air we breathe inside.

Let’s take a look at what affects indoor air quality, how to test it, and what effects it has on our health.

Pollutants That Affect Indoor Air Quality

Countless pollutants can have a serious effect on indoor air quality, but most common ones can be classified into 3 categories:

  • Biological pollutants
  • Chemical pollutants
  • Combustion pollutants

Biological Pollutants

Biological pollutants usually refer to mold, pollen, dander, bacteria, and dust mites. When it comes to mold, for example, it’s one of the most dangerous common biological pollutants, and it’s usually found in places with high humidity and moisture levels. However, mold can also occur due to inadequate ventilation, heating, insulation, and more.

If you suspect there’s mold in your home, there’s no need for at-home test kits since problems arise after the mold is clearly visible. So, it’s best to check the common problem areas and clean up any visible signs of it.

As far as other pollutants are concerned, regular cleaning, vacuuming, and proper ventilation are the only ways to handle them.

Chemical Pollutants

Chemical pollutants include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and pollutants like lead or radon. VOCs can cause quite a few health problems, and they usually come from things such as cleaners, paints, disinfectants, even dry-cleaned clothing.

The easiest way to remove these pollutants from the home is to clean the ducts regularly and ensure proper ventilation.

Combustion Pollutants

These include carbon monoxide and tobacco smoke. Testing for tobacco smoke might be unnecessary since you’ll likely know whether the home residents are smokers or not. Carbon monoxide testing is advised, however.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can lead to death in high concentrations. This is why it’s advised to have a carbon monoxide alarm at home, especially if you have gas heaters, fireplaces, woodstoves, etc. A professional inspection of chimneys and vents should be conducted at least annually.

Having insight into indoor air quality can help prevent or remediate a variety of health consequences.

Health Effects of Indoor Air Quality

Depending on the pollutant and its concentration, you could experience many diverse health effects. Most common symptoms you’ll experience with poor indoor air quality include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Eye irritation
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Long exposure to certain pollutants can lead to developing acute conditions, asthma, cancer, and more. Air quality testing is the only way to make sure your home is free of these dangerous pollutants.

The PURAIR® Difference

While there are some available test kits, it’s best to leave the testing to the professionals who can ensure the samples are not contaminated and who can give you a clear picture of your specific environment.

Contact us today to find out how Modern PURAIR® – Western Canada’s leader in Indoor Air Quality – can help with testing the you’re the indoor air quality in your home or business, and how our other services (such as air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, etc.) can further improve the quality of the air you breathe.