The Definition of Air Quality
Air quality is determined by its level of cleanness. High quality air is not polluted at all, and it is clear and clean. On the other hand, the quality of air can become low because of a series of influential factors, such as human-caused emissions or natural emissions. In cases like this, the level of pollutants that are found in the air can become very high, and this can harm human life and the environment around us, including fauna and flora.
An example of a human-caused emission is driving vehicles or burning wood. These activities can lead to a poor quality of air. It is crucial for our planet to have optimal air quality as this aids in keeping the balance of nature. If the vegetation, the water and the soil are clean, human beings can be healthy as well.
The Meaning of Indoor Air Pollution
The air that is found inside our homes, workplaces, schools and any other indoor spaces can be protected from outdoor pollutants. Indoor air pollution can have an indoor source, however. Examples are the accumulation of mold, cigarette smoke, different household products, furnishings or synthetic fabrics. Americans spend a lot of time indoors (ninety percent of their life), so indoor air quality is crucial to their health.
Air quality levels and symptoms of air pollution
The quality of indoor air matters when Americans spend almost all their time at home, in school or at work. If you don’t know the level of air quality in your building, there are symptoms that will reveal it is low: coughing, sinus congestion, sneezing, wheezing, headaches, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath. As this chart shows, there are six official levels of air quality from clean to very dangerous.
Sometimes your eyes, nose and throat can become irritated. If you have different allergies or conditions like asthma, you can experience worse symptoms in an enclosed space with poor air. If you want to increase your air quality, the first thing you need to do is to find the sources of indoor pollution.
Ways of Verifying the Quality of Air in a Household
Checking the quality of air in the enclosed spaces in which you perform your activities is the key. Then you can identify the causes of pollution and create a healthy environment. Different factors can alter the air in your space. The risks for human health can increase if the contaminant concentration of indoor air rises. In an enclosed space, the air can be altered due to the growth of mold or mildew and also the presence of toxic gases.
The best surfaces for mold or mildew development are: wet carpets, the interior of heating or cooling systems, furniture and building materials. Many people are not aware of how dangerous mold spores can be.
Gases can also be detrimental. Radon and carbon monoxide are the most common gases in homes, according to Colorado State University. There are methods to test the air and to find carbon monoxide, radon and biological pollutants.
Radon is a natural gas that has no smell or color and can reach your home through dirt floors, coming from the soil. There are other ways through which this gas can enter your home: walls, basement floor cracks or drainage systems. The presence of radon in the air is one of the main causes of lung cancer. In order to verify the radon content, you will have to acquire a radon detection kit.
Another gas that has no smell or color and that is very harmful is carbon monoxide. This gas comes from stoves, fire places, furnaces or water heaters as these devices cause an incomplete burning of fuel. Once the gas reaches your lungs, it can prevent the transportation of oxygen to the rest of the body. Death can occur if people are exposed to too much carbon monoxide. You can only detect carbon monoxide if you acquire a detector specifically for this purpose. Such a device is similar to a smoke detector, because an alarm rings to announce a high level of this gas.
Biological pollutants are bacteria, mold, mildew, viruses and pollen. A humid environment leads to development of mold and mildew. Condensation and water pipe leaks have the same effect. Biological pollutants can be spotted visually, or people can smell them. There is a way to easily get rid of mold and mildew: they can be cleaned using ammonia or other cleansers. These will get rid of the spores.