Indoor air quality refers to the quality and content of the air where we spend a majority of our time, like at home, work, school, office buildings, etc. Places where you spend a lot of hours indoors often impact your health. You can avoid sick people because they’re showing symptoms, so you know to stay away from them, but without testing the particles, you don’t exactly know what’s in the air around you because it’s not visible.
The air can potentially have many hazards. Asbestos, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, radon, mold, pesticides, sulfur dioxide, ozone, viruses, pet dander, and other invisible pollutants can hide anywhere. Not every individual will feel the health effects, but some are more vulnerable. Those with compromised immune systems or respiratory issues may be particularly sensitive to these compounds.
Here are five interesting indoor air quality facts and statistics everyone should know.
Statistic: Annually 3.8 million people die from indoor airborne pollution
According to the World Health Organization’s stats, around 3.8 million individuals die every year from exposure to toxins in the air. The world’s poorest countries suffer the most, as many lack environmental regulation that prevents developers from using hazardous building materials or securing construction sites. Many of these individuals also lack access to care, as you can treat many respiratory illnesses caused by environmental factors.
Fact: Smoking is one of the top causes of indoor air pollution
The WHO and CDC have issued many warnings about the effects of smoking cigarettes. Still, a 2020 study on common air pollutants found that cigarette smoke is a significant source of particulate matter. For example, the WHO explains that PM2.5, a fine particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, is one of the most dangerous pollutants. The 2020 study found that smoking in an enclosed area increases the concentration of PM2.5 from 25 to 45 µg /m3.
Statistic: Mortality in women is 50% higher due to air pollutants than in males
All over the world, more women find themselves at home for more extended periods of time than men, therefore exposing themselves to poor indoor air quality at a higher rate. Women are also commonly in charge of tasks that are prone to increased air pollution — cooking on gas, kerosene, charcoal, and other stoves is found to increase the speed of premature death due to the particulate matter released, says The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Cleaning products and solutions are also made from various chemicals that impact human health.
Fact: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that emerges naturally from rocks, soil, and water. It can be brought into homes and office buildings through cracks or holes and builds up in the air. A CDC study found that radon is common enough that it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It’s the number one environmental cause of the disease.
Fact: New York, and other big cities, emit more building air pollution than anywhere else
Those living in big cities in states including New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, and California are at the most risk of indoor air pollution. Between the construction, building ages, and time spent indoors in large buildings where the air is circulated, these cities produce so much air pollution from fuel combustion that individuals should take extra care to have the air tested.
Air Quality Testing Nationwide
For 20 years, SanAir Technologies Laboratory has been trusted to test air, water, and soil samples for quality throughout the US. Call us at 1-888-895-1177 or contact us online to speak to an expert about your environmental testing needs. We’ll get all the materials you need overnight to ensure that your property is safe from environmental hazards.