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Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Health
Good indoor air quality is essential to our health. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a term referring to the air quality within buildings where we live, work, learn, etc. Most of us spend up to 90% of our time indoors, where the air quality can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. Since many of these pollutants can cause serious health problems, we should be as concerned about the quality of the air we breathe as the quality of the water we drink.
The following sources of air pollution are of real concern to our Indoor Air Quality:
- Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Ireland, after smoking;
- Second-hand smoking causes cancer and serious respiratory illnesses;
- Combustion pollutants emitted by poorly vented and maintained appliances can cause serious illnesses and irritations. Carbon monoxide is the silent killer;
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by many modern materials and chemical products affect your well-being and can make you seriously sick;
- Certain moulds when found at high concentrations indoors can cause hay fever-type symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rashes;
- Asthma triggers such as moulds, dust mites, pet hairs, second-hand smoke, etc. cause symptoms including coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and breathing problems.
- Selecting low VOCs materials, cleaning products, etc.;
- Inspecting and maintaining fuel-burning appliances regularly, and vent them appropriately;
- Testing for radon and prevent ingress into the building;
- Reducing asthma triggers by removing materials harbouring dust mites, preventing smoking indoor, preventative cleaning and dusting, etc.
- Installing carbon monoxide alarms as necessary;
- Preventing moisture build-up in the building fabric e.g. by repairing leaks, draining foundations, sealing cracks, etc
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