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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.

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

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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.  

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

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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.

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

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How To Improve Indoor Air Quality

How To Improve Indoor Air Quality

How much time do you spend inside your home or other buildings? For most people, it’s quite a bit of time, particularly during the wintertime. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in the United States, people spend 90% of their time on average indoors. As a result, indoor air pollution may be a greater risk to people’s health than outdoor air pollution!

The most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to reduce or remove the source of the air pollutant. Ensuring proper ventilation and utilizing air cleaners also help improve indoor air quality. 

1. Control the source

Removing the source of the contaminant is often the easiest and most cost-effective way to minimize or eliminate the problem. For example, by reducing the use of candles and incense containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), you can easily improve indoor air quality. 

Reducing mold in the home is another relatively easy tactic. Mold can be removed with soap and warm water in areas less than one square meter. However, sometimes mold cannot be removed as easily, and contaminated materials may need to be replaced.

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Strategies to control humidity and prevent mold growth include:

• Covering pots with a lid when cooking

• Drying your window sills if condensation is visible

• Ensuring the dryer efficiently vents air towards the outside

• Fixing any leaks

• Hanging laundry to dry outside

• Keeping curtains and blinds open

• Repairing damaged grout, caulking, or tiles

• Sealing plumbing pipes with foam insulation if there is condensation present

• Using a bathroom exhaust fan during and after a shower

• Using a kitchen exhaust fan during and after cooking 

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In other cases, hiring a professional may be necessary in order to control or remove the source of a contaminant. For example, exposed areas containing asbestos can be enclosed and sealed by a professional. It’s also important to measure whether there is radon present in your home. You can measure radon levels by purchasing a measuring device yourself or by hiring a professional. It may also be necessary to hire a professional to remove large amounts of mold from certain materials.

Regular cleaning can also help prevent and control sources of contamination. Vacuuming carpets with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to remove trapped dust and small particles and cleaning hard floors with a mop are simple examples. Because cleaning products often emit VOCs, it’s important to ventilate your home properly during use. Consider choosing cleaning products that are environmentally safe and contain fewer VOCs. Read product labels and contact the manufacturer of the product to learn more about the listed ingredients. Lastly, do not mix different cleaning products together because they can create harmful VOCs.  

2. Ensure proper ventilation

By increasing outdoor air circulation inside, you can easily improve the ventilation of your home or building. One of the easiest ways to do this is by opening windows and doors to let in the fresh air. Make sure outdoor air conditions are safe before opening windows and doors. You can look up your local outdoor air quality by referring to your city’s air quality index. 

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Allergen Removal A Critical Part Of Improving Indoor Air Quality

Allergen Removal A Critical Part Of Improving Indoor Air Quality

Outdoor pollution, such as smoke and particles, can enter facilities through open windows and ventilation systems. Other pollutants originate indoors, including allergens such as mold, dust mites, and pet dander.   

Carpet can increase our exposure to air pollutants by acting as a reservoir of allergens. Simply walking over or vacuuming carpet can suspend allergens into the air, where they are inhaled. Allergens that remain on the carpet are often pushed to the bottom of the carpet pile by foot traffic, where they stick to the fibers and are difficult to remove. 

Reducing indoor pollutant levels is essential for creating a healthier indoor environment. Pollution-reducing strategies include a combination of ventilation, pollution source control, and pollutant removal. Regularly cleaning the carpet will reduce the level of allergens and other pollutants in the indoor environment. 

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What is an allergen? 

An allergen is a usually harmless substance that is capable of triggering an immune response in sensitive individuals. For example, if you have an allergy to animal dander, your immune system identifies the animal dander as an invader and responds by releasing chemicals that can cause symptoms in the nose, throat, eyes, ears, and skin. Allergy symptoms can range from sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy skin to more serious symptoms, such as difficulty in breathing and swelling in the throat that can occur in a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. 

 

Why is it important to avoid allergy triggers? 

Asthma and allergies have been increasing since the early 1980s. More than 25 million Americans experience asthma and over 50 million suffer from allergies every year; health experts predict these figures will rise. Avoiding triggers is not only essential in the management of asthma and allergies, it will also create a healthier indoor environment that benefits everyone. Avoiding triggers may also help to prevent sensitization and minimize the development and severity of the respiratory disease. 

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Consider common indoor allergy triggers 

The most common indoor allergy triggers are mold spores, dust mites, and pet dander. Mold grows in damp or moist environments, including on carpet and other building materials. Mold releases spores that are invisible to the naked eye and can float through the air. Disturbing a mold source can send spores into the air, triggering allergies and other respiratory issues.

Dust mites are very small creatures that can live in carpet and other textile furnishings indoors, where they feed mainly on human skin flakes. Accumulation of food and moisture in carpet can provide an ideal habitat for dust mites. People can be allergic to dust mites and to their droppings, which become airborne when disturbed. 

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Basement Model A-400 Product Specs

Basement Model A-400 Product Specs

This unit is typically for a basement or a slab on grade construction.

  • Service area: 7000 sf
  • Air flow: 138 cfm
  • Noise level: 35 dB
  • 110 volts
  • .3 amps
  • 31 watts
  • Single phase
  • Base motor size – 8” x 20” x 6” and weighs 10 lbs.
  • 11” wide x 1 ½” deep x telescopes up to 10’ tall
  • Entire unit weighs 27 lbs.

Basement Model A-400 Product Specs- EZ Breathe

Basement Model A-400 Product Specs- EZ Breathe

Basement Model A-400 Product Specs- EZ Breathe

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