We live an indoor life.
Indoor aeroallergens are important because on average we spend over 90% of our time indoors. This is especially true in industrialized nations. Air, food, water and shelter are essential for the human life cycle. Quality of life is proportional to the goodness of these essentials. One can live without shelter, food and water for some time, a few days, and a few hours respectively; however, hardly a few minutes without air. Fresh air is critical for breathing and it must be free from contaminants/pollutants. According to an estimate, the average global life expectancy reduces 1.8 years per person due to polluted air. A recent nationwide survey reported that 54.6% of people in the United States test positive for an allergic response to one or more allergens and more than 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma (American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 1996–2009).
Polluted air is listed as one of the greatest threats to human health globally beyond a reasonable doubt. There are many airborne ailments which are responsible for unnecessary suffering and compromised lifestyles. Amongst other airborne diseases, allergies are identified as one of the issues which induces various symptoms in susceptible individuals with limited abilities to lead a healthy life.
So what are Indoor Aeroallergens?
These airborne substances, which are capable of sensitizing and exacerbating allergenic disorders are collectively termed as “AEROALLERGENS”. These allergens are reported both from outdoors as well as indoors. They may have a-biological or biological source of origin. If they are biogenic in origin, they are commonly known as “bioallergens”. The major indoor aeroallergens are derived from nuisance dust and contaminated ambient air. The source of some common indoor aeroallergens are fungi, pollen grains, plant trichomes, fiberglass, fibers, dust mites, cockroaches, cats, dogs, rats, other furry-animal debris besides other inorganic and organic particulates.
The production of indoor aeroallergens is highly influenced by the local flora, fauna, and prevailing environmental conditions including temperature and humidity. For example high humidity, moisture and temperature (hot and humid conditions) support the mold growth in indoor environments, which can emit allergenic particulates in ambient air. Likewise, increased rain and temperature can support flowering which leads to enhanced pollen production. Moreover, there are several examples where aeroallergen production can be linked with weather patterns and other climatic changes.
To avoid suffering from indoor aeroallergens, a 3-fold approach is commonly suggested. This includes avoidance, medications and immunotherapy. In order to initiate the process, it is essential to identify these indoor aeroallergens both qualitatively as well as quantitatively. Once these particles are identified, then an appropriate remediation action is required to avoid the exposure. Allergy medications and immunotherapy minimizes the morbidity due to the allergen exposure. Ultimately, a long-term integrated data management and improved methods for detection of indoor aeroallergens to clarify their production, distribution and allergenicity is helpful in combating allergies due to aeroallergens.
For more information on identifying and quantifying indoor aeroallergens in you building please contact EDLab at 1-800-422-7873 ext 301 or email us here.