3 February, 2023

4 Major Indoor Air Pollutants

Oxidants are the primary source of indoor air pollution. They include chemicals such as acetaldehyde that are emitted from building materials and electronic equipment. Human activity is also a source of oxidants. Oxidants are produced in the home by a combination of secondary oxidation and transport from the outdoors. The former process leads to increased levels of OH radicals.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colourless gas that is produced during incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. It is a serious threat to humans because high levels of carbon monoxide can lead to unconsciousness or even death. Even low levels of carbon monoxide can cause headaches, weakness and nausea. People with heart or respiratory conditions are especially vulnerable to CO poisoning.

The majority of CO pollution comes from gasoline-powered automobiles, though this has declined as emissions control equipment has become more sophisticated. CO is also released into the atmosphere by gas and coal-burning power plants and by various industrial processes. It is also released in nature during forest fires and volcanic activity. Smoking and wood stoves can also produce large amounts of CO.

Carbon monoxide is one of the major sources of indoor air pollution. It can be found in combustion sources, including oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products. It can also be present in building materials, such as asbestos-containing insulation. Additionally, you may find it in some types of household products, such as personal care products and central heating and cooling systems.

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous indoor air pollutant that can lead to headaches, fatigue and even death if exposed to high levels. Exposure to CO is correlated with a decreased lifespan, lower activity, and higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. It can also cause eye irritation and respiratory infections, particularly in children.

Particulate matter

Particulate matter (PM) is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets. Some are visible to the naked eye, and others can only be detected with an electron microscope. PM2.5 particles are the most dangerous because they are so small that they can enter the bloodstream. These particles can contain hundreds of different chemicals.

The sources of these pollutants include natural gas, oil, coal, and kerosene. Other sources include tobacco products, building materials, and other consumer products. In addition to these sources, there are biological contaminants that can affect the air quality inside a home. For example, people can breathe in dust mites, bacteria, and viruses if they use household cleaning products or smoke tobacco.

Public transportation also exposes people to indoor air pollutants. People spend about 90% of their time indoors, which means that indoor sources can provide them with the majority of their exposure to toxicants. For some people, this may even be their only exposure to these harmful air pollutants. In addition to the general population, people with medical conditions and infants are among those who are largely exposed to indoor sources.

The health effects of indoor air pollutants can be felt immediately or over time. Some people can have a reaction right after exposure, while others might not show any symptoms at all. The symptoms may include irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, and dizziness. These are usually treatable, and the best way to avoid them is to avoid exposure to the sources of indoor air pollution.

Organic contaminants

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted by a wide range of products and can have negative effects on your health. They are especially concentrated indoors, where the concentrations are much higher than outdoors. Common sources of VOCs include paints, aerosol sprays, disinfectants, and pesticides. Exposure to these contaminants can cause symptoms like headaches, nausea, eye irritation, and even kidney and liver damage.

Other common sources of indoor air pollution include tobacco smoke, radon, and mold. These pollutants can cause respiratory problems and coronary heart disease. They are also linked to premature death, middle ear infections, and respiratory illnesses. Radon is a natural gas that can enter buildings through soil. Exposure to radon in your home can cause lung cancer.

Because indoor air pollution is often more harmful than outdoor air, it is important to keep your indoor air quality at a safe level. Because indoor air pollution is not diluted by outdoor air, the concentration of pollutants increases. High humidity and temperatures can also make indoor air pollution worse. You should always keep your home’s temperature and humidity below 80°F.

Particulate matter is another common indoor air pollutant. It contains carbonaceous particles, adsorbed organic chemicals, and reactive metals. Among the main PM components are sulfates, nitrates, heavy metals, and organic compounds. These pollutants can be inhaled and create a hospitable environment for bacteria, spores, and mold.


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