Does Indoor Air Quality Matter to Your Health?
Most of us believe that a good diet and exercise is enough to lead a healthy life to enhance longevity. Have you ever thought that the quality of the air you breathe can make a difference in your lifespan? If you haven’t, then start considering some facts that emphasize the importance of indoor air quality on health. In recent years, poor air quality has been linked to various health conditions. Some of these conditions include, but are not limited to, respiratory infections, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, strokes and even lung cancer. Research has suggested a link between heart disease and red meat consumption, but a link has also been suggested to poor air quality. Considering Americans spend an average of almost 90% of their time indoors as shown in one survey, the consequences of indoor air quality on health can be especially significant.
Many of the above listed substances originate from a-biogenic or biogenic sources. Dispersal of these materials takes place due to air pollution. Manmade activities or natural disasters such as forest fires, volcanic eruptions, flooding, etc. are identified as the main causes of air pollution. Some common obnoxious chemicals that are reported from air tests include: asbestos, formaldehyde, gases, heavy metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), pesticides, microbial/volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as, endotoxin, mycotoxin, etc, plus several other inorganic and organic materials. Besides these, some frequently reported biologically active constituents from air have been microbes, pollen grains, insect/insect bio-detritus, plant and animal-borne particulates, and protozoan cysts among others. Many of them are allergenic, infectious and pathogenic in nature. Some studies suggest that you can find higher concentrations of hazardous substances in the indoor air rather than in the outdoor air.
Having clean air in your environment will not just provide potential improvement for allergies and asthma, but can also benefit health in the long term. It has been shown that a reduction of just 10µg of particles per cubic meter of air can add on at least another half year to your lifespan. A reduction of almost 15µg of particles per cubic meter of air can add nearly another year to your lifespan. A few basic steps such as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tests can provide information on air contaminants responsible for polluting the air quality in your home and environments. It will also help in understanding the indoor air quality and its proper management. Enhanced indoor air quality can improve quality of life as well as the longevity of your life span.
For more information or questions about IAQ baseline testing please contact Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory at 1-800-422-7873 ext. 304 or by the contact form on this website.