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Indoor Air Quality

Air pollution is a leading environmental health hazard and can happen indoors in places such as homes, workplaces and in vehicles. Common health problems associated with poor air quality include heart and other cardiovascular diseases and asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Understanding and controlling some of the common pollutants found in homes, schools, and offices may help improve your indoor air and reduce your family's risk of developing health outcomes related to indoor air quality.

Indoor air quality could be affected by common outdoor air pollutants in addition to the build-up of other chemicals, gases and particulates. Common indoor air pollutants include carbon monoxide gas, radon gas, smoke and chemicals such as from tobacco smoking, use of vapor-based items, and fragrances, pesticides, chemical-based household products, and lead dust. Exposure to these have been associated with several health problems.
The connection between housing and indoor work spaces and health is well documented with research linking dust, mold, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and pests with the aggravation of asthma; radon and ETS causing lung cancer; lead-based paint contributing to child lead poisoning; carbon monoxide and some household products causing poisoning; and building (construction) deficiencies contributing to falls and accidents. These housing-related health and safety hazards have a major negative impact on communities. They lead to missed school and work days, poor quality of life, and financial hardship. This is especially true for vulnerable populations such as seniors, children, people with disabilities and communities affected by poor housing conditions.
Vulnerable populations include seniors, children, people with disabilities, people with existing health conditions and communities impacted by poor housing conditions. Many young children spend most of their time at home, making indoor air quality especially important for them. Infants and toddlers who grow up in safe and healthy environments tend to become healthy teens and adults.

Try these healthy living indoor air quality tips:

  • Adopt a smoke-free policy in your home, workplace and car.
  • Have the furnace and any other gas appliance inspected and serviced yearly.
  • Ensure that a home or office has ventilation (bring outdoor air to the inside). If there is a ventilation system, make sure it is operating properly and filters are changed regularly.
  • Have chimneys and fuel burning appliances inspected.
  • Install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Install and maintain a smoke detector.
  • Use appliances such as grills and generators outdoors only and away from windows and doors.
  • Test for indoor radon.
  • Take your shoes off when going inside your home and adopt a no-shoes-inside-the-house policy.
  • Put doormats at all home and building entries.
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Content updated: Tue, 12 Sep 2017 17:14:55 MDT