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Air Quality

Introduction

If you were to ask most people where they thought they would be most likely to experience the worst air pollution, they might mention traffic fumes, industrial smog looming low over large urban environments such as Linfen, China, or their local volcano....

However, most would never consider the quality of air inside their home as a major source of pollution. It's time people knew the truth - because indoor air pollution has become a growing concern in recent times - and for good reason:The United States EPA has stated explicitly that indoor air pollution is one of the top 5 risks to public health!

In the quest for the "holy grail" of energy efficiency, modern home insulation has been greatly increased - such as with use of draft excluders, caulk, advanced engineering and other methods of draft prevention such as double glazing. However, although these methods might get major results in reducing heating or air conditioning bills, the fact that modern homes are more "sealed" than those of old times, might very often mean that many homes may have less air circulation than they once did - with the result that air pollutants are more likely to remain trapped indoors for longer periods of time. When you add to that the industrialization of product manufacture, together with dusts and off-gassing... you have a "perfect storm" for indoor air pollution.

Studies have shown that people in industrialized nations very often spend more than 90% of their time indoors - and unbeknown to most, many air pollutants often exist indoors in greater concentrations than outdoors. In some cases, this is fairly apparent - such as tobacco smoke, exposure to which is obviously much greater indoors. However, there are many other pollutants common to indoor environments - such as styrene, formaldehyde, dust, carbon monoxide, and even lead from old paint applied before the ban. There are also other persistent problems from the past such as asbestos and chlordane. All in all, there are a huge array of possible pollutants that could exist in indoor air.

The good news:You can take action - and there is much you can do! From regulation of ventilation, the use of air purifiers, selection of construction materials and carfeul use of appliances i.e. stoves - there are many simple ways to reduce indoor air pollution. There are many different air purifiers on the market today - and these can employ any number of a range of possible technologies. Check out our pages listed below to learn all about this topic:

Air Purification Types, Technologies and Terminology:

HEPA Filter

ULPA Filter

Ionic Air Purifier (aka. ionizer)

Electrostatic Air Purifier

Activated Carbon Air Filter

Photocatalytic Oxidation

UV light Sterilization

Ozone Generator

HVAC

Cleanrooms

MERV Rating

Common Indoor Air Pollutants:

Dust

Dust toxins

Dust mites

Smoke

Traffic fumes

Pollen

Mold

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Formaldehyde

Viruses and Bacteria

Air Purifier Brands:

IQAir HealthPro

Aller Air Purifier

Blueair Air Purifier

Austin Air Purifier

NQ Clarifier

Other pages:

Ideas and tips for improving indoor air quality

California Forest Fires

The Pea-Soupers of Old London Town

MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) and "Sick Buildings"

Pure air:a personal quest





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