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Main Causes Of Indoor Air Pollution

Main Causes Of Indoor Air Pollution

The quality of indoor air inside offices, schools, and other workplaces is important not only for workers’ comfort but also for their health. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) has been tied to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Also, some specific diseases have been linked to specific air contaminants or indoor environments, like asthma in damp indoor environments. In addition, some exposures, such as asbestos and radon, do not cause immediate symptoms but can lead to cancer after many years.

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Many factors affect IAQ. These factors include poor ventilation (lack of outside air), problems controlling temperature, high or low humidity, recent remodeling, and other activities in or near a building that can affect the fresh air coming into the building. Sometimes, specific contaminants like dust from construction or renovation, mold, cleaning supplies, pesticides, or other airborne chemicals (including small amounts of chemicals released as a gas over time) may cause poor IAQ.

The right ventilation and building care can prevent and fix IAQ problems. Although OSHA does not have IAQ standards, it does have standards about ventilation and standards on some of the air contaminants that can be involved in IAQ problems. OSHA responds to questions about standards with letters of interpretation. OSHA’s letters of interpretation specifically addressing IAQ issues can be found in Other Resources. The General Duty Clause of the OSH Act (the law that created OSHA) requires employers to provide workers with a safe workplace that does not have any known hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious injury.indoor-air-pollution-ez-breathe-2

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a concern in many schools due in part to the age and poor condition of a number of school buildings. School IAQ is particularly important as it may affect the health, performance and comfort of school staff and students.

Managing IAQ in schools presents unique challenges. Unlike managing other buildings, managing schools involves the responsibility for public funds and child safety issues. In addition, occupants are close together. Typical schools have approximately four times as many occupants as office buildings with the same amount of floor space. Schools frequently have a large number of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning equipment, which places added strain on maintenance staff. As schools add space, the operation and maintenance of each addition are often different. Schools sometimes use rooms, portable classrooms, or buildings that were not originally designed to service the unique requirements of schools.

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Cooking And Its Impact On Your Indoor Air

Cooking And Its Impact On Your Indoor Air

Organic aerosols — such as those released in cooking — may stay in the atmosphere for several days, because of nanostructures formed by fatty acids as they are released into the air.

By identifying the processes which control how these aerosols are transformed in the atmosphere, scientists will be able to better understand and predict their impact on the environment and the climate.indoor-air-ez-breathe-1

Experts at the Universities of Birmingham and Bath have used instruments at the Diamond Light Source and the Central Laser Facility, both based at the Harwell Campus in Oxford, to probe the behavior of thin films of oleic acid — an unsaturated fatty acid commonly released when cooking.

In the study, published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, they were able to analyze the particular molecular properties that control how rapidly aerosol emissions can be broken down in the atmosphere.

Then, using a theoretical model combined with experimental data the team was able to predict the amount of time aerosols generated from cooking may hang around in the environment.

These types of aerosols have long been associated with poor air quality in urban areas, but their impact on human-made climate change is hard to gauge. That’s because of the diverse range of molecules found within aerosols, and their varying interactions with the environment.indoor-air-ez-breathe-2

By identifying the nanostructure of molecules emitted during cooking that slows down the break-up of organic aerosols, it becomes possible to model how they are transported and dispersed into the atmosphere.

Lead author Dr Christian Pfrang, of the University of Birmingham’s School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: “Cooking aerosols account for up to 10 per cent of particulate matter (PM) emissions in the UK. Finding accurate ways to predict their behavior will give us much more precise ways to also assess their contribution to climate change.”

Co-author Dr Adam Squires, of the University of Bath, said: “We’re increasingly finding out how molecules like these fatty acids from cooking can organise themselves into bilayers and other regular shapes and stacks within aerosol droplets that float in the air, and how this completely changes how fast they degrade, how long they persist in the atmosphere, and how they affect pollution and weather.”

The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council

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Indoor Air Quality: 4 Benefits of a Good Ventilation System

Indoor Air Quality: 4 Benefits of a Good Ventilation System

Ventilation is the process of intentionally introducing outdoor air into spaces such as houses or rooms while removing stale air. The aim of ventilation is to regulate indoor air quality by displacing and diluting indoor pollutants. A good ventilation system should therefore be able to remove or dilute any indoor pollutants and distribute fresh air in your house.

Ventilation systems also play numerous roles that improve the quality of indoor air. Below are four benefits of a good ventilation system.indoor-air-quality-ez-breathe-1

  1. Controls air impurities

It is important for every home or building to have good circulation of indoor air in order to constantly get a supply of fresh air. A constant supply of fresh air into a building reduces the risk of indoor air pollution. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 4.3 million people across the world die annually as a result of poor indoor air quality.

A good ventilation system helps improve indoor air quality by expelling different types of pollutants including bacteria, moisture, musty odors and dust.

  1. Stops condensation

Another benefit of a good ventilation system is that it stops condensation in any indoor space. Condensation occurs as a result of a buildup of moisture. The moisture condenses on various sources to form water droplets.

Condensation can lead to the growth of mold on various surfaces including drywall, walls, and floors. Another problem that stems from condensation is wood decay, which occurs when wooden items have a moisture content that exceeds 20%. 

By removing moisture, a ventilation system helps stop problems such as condensation and the growth of mold, thus improving indoor air quality.indoor-air-quality-ez-breathe-2

  1. Regulates air

Unless you have installed a good ventilation system, you are not able to control the movement of air in your home. Too much cold air coming in may mean high energy costs due to heating. A good ventilation system controls the amount of air that enters a building and ensures that your indoor air is of the right quality and has the right temperature.

  1. Controls air temperature

The ability to control air temperature is a notable benefit of a good ventilation system. Room temperatures change due to factors such as weather, the location of the room, the number and size of windows, and the number of people in a room.

A good ventilation system adjusts the temperature accordingly so that your indoor space does not become hot and stuffy when there are many people or when the incoming air becomes hotter.

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Important Facts about Your Indoor Air Quality and Dehumidifiers

Important Facts about Your Indoor Air Quality and Dehumidifiers

Indoor air quality is a major health concern. According to the World Health Organization, 4.3 million people globally die every year because of indoor air pollution. One of the factors that exacerbate the risk of indoor air pollution is high humidity. Usually, the human body functions best when humidity is within the range of 20 to 60%.indoor-air-quality-ez-breathe-1

The recommended mean relative humidity when you are indoors is between 30 and 60%. When the indoor relative humidity exceeds 60%, mold and mildew start to grow, and this can cause serious health issues.

This problem is particularly common if your home has a basement or a crawlspace that is not well ventilated. A dehumidifier can help you solve the problem of high indoor relative humidity.

What is a dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is a device that removes excess moisture from the air. You can use a dehumidifier for comfort or health reasons. A dehumidifier also helps eliminate musty odors, which are common in humid indoor spaces.

Signs that you need a dehumidifier

You can tell that you need a dehumidifier if your home has any of the following signs:

  • The indoor environment has a musty odor and feels clammy
  • You have a feeling of excess moisture
  • Mold patches are visible
  • Windows show signs of condensation
  • You see wet or moist areas on the ceiling or walls.

How a dehumidifier improves indoor air quality

A dehumidifier improves indoor air quality by doing the following things:

  1. Removing excess moisture

As pointed out above, excess moisture is one of the factors that increase the risk of indoor air pollution. This is because a high level of moisture in the air makes the air dense and stagnant.indoor-air-quality-ez-breathe-2

Humid air is also able to carry more harmful compounds like nitrogen dioxide and allergens such as mold spores. By reducing the moisture in the air to acceptable levels, a dehumidifier makes indoor air healthier to breathe.

  1. Preventing the growth of mold and mildew

Mold and mildew grow in humid conditions. Therefore, by removing moisture in areas in which mold and mildew are likely to grow, you also prevent the growth of these harmful fungi. And with that, you will have addressed the issue of musty odors.

  1. Helping get rid of dust mites and allergens in the air

Dust mites and allergens are a common occurrence when the air has a lot of moisture. If you install a dehumidifier in your home, you will have eliminated this problem.

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Would You Live In Your Basement?

Ask yourself this question: “Would you live in your basement?” Your answer is probably a hard “NO!” Basements are notorious for being “icky”–damp, musty, and full of spiders.

Did you know that the air from your basement may be exactly what you’re breathing all day, every day? This is due to stack effect, the process of warm air rising upward in a building. (This is because warm air is lighter than cold air.) Stack effect will cause the air to flow from a basement into living spaces upstairs, bringing airborne pollutants–mold, moisture, radon, chemicals–right along with it.

So if you’re lining up the home improvement projects for the coming summer months, think about starting where it matters most: in the basement!

Healthy Air Starts at the Bottom

How to make your basement, and your home, healthier:

  1. Manage the moisture. Improve exterior drainage to prevent water from leaking into your basement. Manage indoor humidity levels below 60% to prevent condensation.
  2. Test your home for radon. Install systems to reduce the radon if the test result is above EPA-recommended acceptable levels.
  3. Clean. Accumulated dust and dirt can trap moisture and grow mold. Throw away unwanted items–especially old paints, chemicals, and pesticides.
  4. Evict Pests. Trap unwanted visitors: ants, mice, rats, squirrels.
  5. Weatherize. insulating and air sealing your basement can reduce the impact of stack effect and save you energy dollars too!
  6. Ventilate. Below grade spaces require ventilation to exhaust harmful chemicals, toxins, allergens and to create air exchanges for a safe and healthy air quality.

 

Learn More About Moisture Control

Learn More About Basement Ventilation

Learn More About Crawlspace Ventilation

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5 Sources of VOCs in the Home That You May Not Be Aware Of

5 Sources of VOCs in the Home That You May Not Be Aware Of

How is the indoor air quality of your home? If you’re like many people, you probably think that as long as your home smells fresh, the air quality within your home must be good. However, this isn’t true. Not many people are aware that their homes contain high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).indoor-air-quality-ez-breathe-1

Exposure to VOCs has been shown to result in both short and long-term health problems including the development of various forms of cancer. Understanding the sources of VOCs in the home is the first step to protecting your health and that of your household.

  1. Manufactured furniture

Many people are investing in ready-to-assemble furniture as it is convenient. You simply order online and have it delivered to your home where it can be assembled in a matter of minutes. This furniture often features formaldehyde, a VOC that is carcinogenic. Formaldehyde is present in resins, preservatives, and sealants used in pressed wood products such as desks, cabinetry, beds, and bookshelves.

  1. Nail polish remover

Getting ready for a day of self-care? This may involve various activities including doing your nails. That bottle of nail polish remover may be efficient at getting rid of the nail polish from your nails but will expose you to acetone, a VOC. Acetone is also present in various types of furniture as it is used as furniture polish.

  1. Mothballs

Mothballs come in very handy when you want to protect your clothes and other precious items from the destruction that moths and other insects can cause. However, mothballs can be the cause of health problems. These balls contain dichlorobenzene which is VOC. This VOC is a common ingredient in other deodorizers too.indoor-air-quality-ez-breathe-2

  1. Your clothes

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as the smell of clothes that have just come from the laundry. Having clothes dry-cleaned will help to preserve them for longer. However, it will also expose you to perchloroethylene, a VOC. It is responsible for the strong odor that dry-cleaned clothes have.

  1. Your carpets

Carpets and the padding beneath the carpets are a source of VOCs in the home. Not only do carpets feature VOCs in the preservatives and fixatives used in their manufacture but also in the adhesives used to fix them in place during installation.

Many products within the home are known to emit VOCs. The best way to protect your health and improve indoor air quality is by improving the ventilation of your home. EZ breathe provides an easy and efficient way to ventilate your home and reduce your exposure to VOCs.  

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3 Odors That Are Hazardous To Your Health

3 Odors That Are Hazardous to Your Health

Every home has a smell. Many of us try to ensure our homes smell fresh by keeping them clean and using air fresheners and scent diffusers. However, sometimes odors in the home are much more than simple odors. They can be an indication of hazards in your home that could cause a health problem. These odors are an indication of poor indoor air quality and should be addressed as soon as possible.indoor-air-quality-ez-breathe-1

  1. Paint smells

The smell of fresh paint can be exhilarating for some people. However, this odor is an indication of poor indoor air quality and could affect your health in the long term if not addressed. The odor is a result of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the air as the paint dries. VOCs have been linked to the development of various forms of cancer.

It is important to ensure proper ventilation in your home while painting. Be sure to leave the windows and doors open. Proper ventilation is important even when only a small area has been painted.

  1. Musty smells

Musty or dusty smells are common in humid environments such as kitchens, basements, bathrooms and even in cupboards that aren’t open often. This odor is often an indication of a mold or mildew infestation. Mold and mildew are hazardous to human health. Mold spores are distributed in the air and can cause severe allergies as well as respiratory problems. Black mold is especially hazardous to your health.

If you notice a musty smell, it is important to contact a mold remediation contractor to have your home inspected as soon as possible. Invest in mold remediation to get rid of mold and address the issues that caused the infestation in the first place. These may include leaky pipes or poor circulation in your home leading to the accumulation of moisture.indoor-air-quality-ez-breathe-2

  1. Pickle odors

Does your home have a strong pickle odor? This may be an indication of formaldehyde in the air. Formaldehyde is present in many products used in the manufacture of household products such as disinfectants, resins, fixatives, preservatives, and adhesives. Formaldehyde is therefore present in building and flooding products, paneling, carpeting, pressed wood furniture, upholstery, and many other products around the home.

Formaldehyde is a VOC and is considered carcinogenic. It is important to ensure that your home is well ventilated to reduce exposure to this carcinogen.

Investing in an EZ breathe whole-home ventilation system will help to improve indoor air quality and reduce your exposure to hazards to your health.

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Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Important Questions Regarding Indoor Air Quality

Important Questions Regarding Indoor Air Quality New York, NY


How do air fresheners affect indoor air quality?

Air fresheners can impact indoor air quality by adding potentially hazardous pollutants to the air. The use of air fresheners is associated with elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylenes, in indoor air. These VOCs are often difficult to smell in the air, but they can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as cause headaches and nausea. The types and amounts of VOCs emitted depend primarily on the fragrance composition of the air freshener, not on the type of air freshener. It can be difficult or impossible to find out the ingredients in air fresheners, because manufacturers are not required to disclose the complete list of ingredients.Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Air fresheners can add VOCs and other pollutants to the air through direct emissions from fresheners as well as through secondary reaction products from the freshener chemicals reacting with constituents (such as ozone) that are already in the air. For example, air freshener emissions can react with naturally-occurring indoor air compounds, such as ozone, to produce secondary pollutants such as formaldehyde. The types and amounts of secondary pollutants produced are influenced by factors such as air freshener ingredients, concentrations, and product usage.

How do air fresheners affect human health?

The use of air fresheners can increase exposure levels to air pollutants. These exposures, even at relatively low levels, have been associated with a range of adverse health effects. These effects may include migraine headaches, asthma attacks, breathing and respiratory difficulties, dermatitis, and neurological problems particularly for sensitive individuals.

Are “green” air fresheners safer or better than regular ones?

Some air freshener products are described as “green” (or other related terms, such as organic or all-natural), but these terms lack regulatory or chemical definitions when used with air fresheners. Studies comparing emissions of different types of air fresheners have found that all air fresheners – regardless of “green” claims – emit potentially hazardous compounds. Moreover, emissions from “green” air fresheners were not found to be significantly different from other fresheners.

Homemade or “natural” air fresheners made with essential oils are not necessarily free of potentially harmful chemicals, either. Essential oils consist of combinations of naturally-derived chemicals that are highly concentrated. Concentrations of these oils in nature are typically much lower than the concentrations found in essential oils. Moreover, few of these oils and plant-based ingredients have been tested for safety, and some can trigger allergic reactions.Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Can air fresheners remove odors and clean the air?

Some air fresheners purportedly clean the air by removing odors, disinfecting the air, or reducing allergens. These claims have been difficult to scientifically verify. Moreover, the use of these products would not provide a long-term solution since the source of odors, bacteria, or other allergens would not be addressed.

What are some alternatives to using air fresheners?

Air fresheners are generally used to create a more pleasing indoor air environment, but they can also exacerbate indoor air quality problems by adding more chemicals to the air. 

 

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328

Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

The Best Way To Ventilate Your Basement And Improve Indoor Air Quality

The Best Way To Ventilate Your Basement And Improve Indoor Air Quality

Do you ventilate your basement? The conditions in your basement play a major role in determining the indoor air quality of the upper levels of your home. Poor air quality in your basement will mean poor air quality in the rest of your home.Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Why you should ventilate your basement

The best way to improve indoor air quality in your basement is by ventilating your basement. Ventilation allows for the circulation of air in the basement. A poorly ventilated basement is prone to moisture problems. This is because basements are structures located below grade. They are vulnerable to moisture penetration. Poor ventilation will result in high humidity levels within the basement which in turn will result in a mold or mildew infestation. Mold spores can cause respiratory issues, allergic reactions, sinus problems, and much more.

High humidity provides the perfect environment for pests such as rodents and insects such as termites and cockroaches to thrive. You may find yourself having to deal with a pest or insect infestation. Increased humidity can also lead to structural problems as a result of rot or termite infestations.

The best way to ventilate your basement

Ventilating a basement isn’t as simple as throwing a window open. While natural ventilation is adequate during summer, it isn’t feasible in the winter or during wet seasons. It is also important to note that if you live in a humid area, the air that you let into your basement will be humid. This could mean even more problems for your basement.Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

One way to deal with the humidity is to invest in a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will take the excess moisture out of the air. This will keep your basement dry even when you leave your windows open on a hot and humid summer day. The only challenge with this is that it still doesn’t solve the problem of ventilating on days when the weather is bad.

A whole home ventilation system offers a great solution for ventilating your basement all year round. These systems draw in fresh oxygen-rich air from the outside. Excess moisture is removed and the air is heated or cooled depending on the time of year. They also exhaust stale air from the inside of the home to the outside. These systems will allow you to ventilate your basement year-round without putting it at risk of developing a moisture problem.

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328

Indoor Air Quality | Nashville, TN | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Indoor Air Quality: 4 Key Benefits of a Good Ventilation System

Indoor Air Quality: 4 Key Benefits of a Good Ventilation System

Indoor air quality denotes the quality of the air within and around homes and other habitable buildings, especially with respect to the health and well-being of the people who occupy the building. Being aware of and controlling some of the common pollutants in the indoor environment can help you reduce the risk of indoor health problems.Indoor Air Quality | Nashville, TN | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

You can achieve good indoor air quality when you have a proper ventilation system in your building. Ventilation is the process by which clean air from the outdoor environment is purposely supplied into a given space as stale air is simultaneously removed.

There are many types of ventilation systems that you can use to improve the quality of your indoor air. Here is a look at some of the key benefits that you get by investing in a good ventilation system.

  1. Impurity Control

You may be of the view that the quality of air that you breathe outdoors isn’t great, particularly if you live in a busy city. But in most cases, the air within a building can be more contaminated than the air that is outside.

Good ventilation systems are designed to help you remove any build-up of different types of pollutants, moisture, bacteria and unpleasant odors from your building.

  1. Regulation of Air

If you don’t have a good ventilation system in your house, you cannot control the air that flows into the building. When too much air flows into your house, it can mean high energy bills due to increased heating or cooling requirements. This is where a good ventilation system comes in handy.Indoor Air Quality | Nashville, TN | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

A good ventilation equipment will help you control the flow of air into your building while also regulating the air to ensure that it meets the necessary health and safety standards.

  1. Helps Solve Condensation and High Moisture Issues

Condensation inside your house can lead to notable problems such as growth of mold, wood rot, and discoloration of various surfaces. Mold spores and high moisture in the air can also lead to poor indoor air quality and numerous health problems. Therefore, at all costs, you will want to avoid condensation and a high moisture content in your indoor air.

The good thing about investing in good ventilation systems is that the system will help you control the amount of moisture in your indoor air.

  1. Temperature Control

Buildings that are occupied by many people can become hot and stuffy over time. A good ventilation system helps regulate the temperature of a space to ensure that the occupants of the space work in a well-ventilated and more comfortable environment.   

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328