Often times when people think of air pollution, they think of it as it pertains to the outdoors. However, numerous studies are showing that indoor air pollution is typically much worse than outdoor pollution. In fact, this is especially evident in urban centers where indoor air pollution is two to five times higher than outdoor air pollution.
Poor Indoor Air Can Cause Illness
Believe it or not, the air that you breathe in a confined space can become significantly compromised without anyone realizing it. In fact, when these pollutants end up reaching unsafe levels inside your building, its occupants can end up experiencing allergic symptoms or even severe headaches. Furthermore, these airborne toxins can also end up compromising both the body’s endocrine and nervous systems.
Because of these hazards, businesses are strongly advised to hire experts to test the air quality of their buildings on a regular basis. They can then act in time to prevent illnesses or more serious consequences from these dangerously toxic emissions. Following are just some of the air pollutants detectable through testing conducted by environmental services.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and invisible gas, produced by an incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Once inhaled, it can prevent your body from processing the oxygen it needs in order for you to breathe normally. Dizziness, headaches, confusion and nausea can possibly ensue.
Radon is also a colorless and odorless gas that can be found just about anywhere in low levels. It’s typically produced by the breaking down of the earth’s uranium. Exposure to this at elevated levels can end up increasing your risk of developing lung cancer.
Nitrogen dioxide, a common oxide of nitrogen, is a corrosive and toxic gas. When inhaled, it can easily irritate the respiratory tract, nose, eyes and throat. In high concentrations, exposure to this can also lead to lung injuries and pulmonary edema.
Secondhand smoke is also known as environmental smoke. It typically emanates from incompletely burned tobacco products. According to the Environmental Assistance and Protection Department of Forsyth County, secondhand smoke typically contains more than 4,700 chemical ingredients. In the short term, exposure to all of these can lead to throat, nose and eye irritation.
In the long term, secondhand smoke can lead to the same maladies suffered by those who smoke. These include bronchitis, pneumonia, wheezing, and even lung cancer.
Exposure to these harmful air pollutants can be dangerous to anyone who stays inside your building on a regular basis. Their effects can trigger life-changing illnesses and conditions. Avoid these hazards by ordering a test of your building’s air quality periodically. You don’t want to lose employees or clients because your air is unsafe to breathe.
7 Common Indoor Air Pollutants, usgreentechnology.com
Breath of Fresh Air: Improving Indoor Air Quality at Your Workplace, gogreenplus.org