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Effects of Indoor Air on Human Health

Studies have shown that the impact of indoor air quality on human health is truly significant. Read some of the reasons why.

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When we say indoor air quality, it refers to the kind or quality of air in every structure and building environment. Structures such as homes and schools and their indoor air quality have been related to health and comfort of the occupants. Studies have shown that the impact of indoor air quality on human health is truly significant.

Threat on Human Health

In United States, 90 percent of Americans admitted that they spend most of their time indoors. When in fact, people who spent more time indoors are actually vulnerable to cardiovascular or respiratory disease. This was confirmed when a research was released about indoor pollutants. The thing is, concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.

The question you might be thinking is, what is reason behind this? It is because indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades. It is because they value energy-efficient building construction most especially when it lacks sufficient mechanical ventilation to ensure adequate air exchange. Thus, use of synthetic building materials, pesticides, and household cleaners became present.

Sources of Concern

Today, most of the pollutants that are present in indoor were first manifested in outdoor. Here are some of the most common indoor air pollutants that we have to know:

  1. Combustion byproducts such as carbon monoxide. Carbon Monoxide is odorless and invisible gas. The risk it may cause to human health is, it stops your body from using the oxygen it needs to work normally. You may experience tiredness and headache. If the concentration of carbon monoxide is high enough, people may die.
  2. Substances of natural origin such as radon, pet dander, and mold. Radon is an odorless gas that is most of the time present in low levels. It is made naturally as the uranium in the Earth breaks down. Being exposed to high levels of radon increases your risk of getting lung cancer.
  3. Presence of lead and asbestos.  Generally, lead is bad to human health. In 1978, it was actually banned in house painting. It is because great exposure to lead can damage the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and red blood cells. Asbestos is the name used for a group of minerals found naturally all over the world. On the other hand, it has fibers that later become airborne. Thus, it has potential to enter to a person’s lungs.
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Engr. Tam Van Loan
Technical Recruiting Manager at Vietnam Airlines. I am a mechanical engineering graduate from University of Engineering and Technology, VNU. Likes travelling, blogging and building mechanical lego stuff, Yikes! Follow me on


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