Allergies, asthma, fatigue, semicircular lipoatrophy, respiratory infections, and even lung cancer are some of the potential consequences of poor air quality in the indoor spaces where we spend most of our time. But what are the common sources of indoor air pollution?
In developed countries, indoor air pollution is often higher than outdoor air pollution, especially when significant sources of indoor and outdoor pollution coexist and are added together. Office buildings, homes, or public buildings can have an Indoor Air Quality (IAC) that does not protect and promote people’s health and generates disease, and affects public health.
It can aggravate respiratory problems (for example asthma), irritate the eyes, cause headaches, coughs, and sore throats, and cause lung cancer in both smokers and second-hand smokers. It is a powerful enhancer of the carcinogenic effect of other substances.
We use in the home (insecticides, cleaners of all kinds, disinfectants, air fresheners, fragrances, detergents, fabric softeners, soaps, deodorants, lotions, shampoos, cosmetics, printer toner, electrical and electronic devices …)
They may contain Harmful different chemicals that get into the air in buildings and homes, altering the quality of indoor air.
They can result from irritants to the eyes, nose, throat, skin, allergens, sensitizers, and endocrine disruptors to damage vital systems (lung, liver, kidney, neurological) and be carcinogenic. Bacteria, fungi, and molds (with their spores) can grow indoors when enough moisture is available.
It can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma, and affect the immune system. Dust mites, pet hair and dander, cockroaches, and pollen from certain plants contain allergens that can aggravate breathing problems and also cause coughing, chest tightness, breathing problems, asthma, eye irritation, and skin rash.
They are present in many household products: chipboards, paints, solvents, sealants, waterproofers, insulators, adhesives … and increase their concentration in the indoor air in situations such as the installation of new furniture, works new, renovations and rehabilitation, DIY and new decoration, in which these products are used. Among the VOCs in buildings, we can highlight formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, benzene, naphthalene, xylene, toluene, styrene, terpenes, D-limonene, or A-pinene.
They can range from irritating to damaging certain organs to being carcinogenic.
A radioactive gas that accumulates in basements and basements in granite areas, increases lung cancer risk.
Extremely inadequate temperatures in the home (heat peaks in heat waves, cold, and humidity in cold times) can increase diseases and mortality, especially in vulnerable groups: the elderly, children, chronically ill.
Among which benzo [a] pyrene stands out, are generated in the inadequate combustion of fossil fuels and biomass (firewood, pellets, briquettes, etc.) in boilers, fireplaces, stoves, and kitchen fires. They are potentially carcinogenic substances.
It is generated in incomplete combustion with little oxygen. It binds to hemoglobin, forming carboxyhemoglobin and preventing the transport of oxygen in the blood.
It causes headaches, dizziness, nausea, and drowsiness and in high concentrations, it can lead to death quickly.
Outdoor air pollutants that can be found indoors, especially in the vicinity of areas with high traffic density or polluting industrial zones:
– Particles in suspension have their main origin in human activities and cause respiratory and cardiovascular disorders.
– Nitrogen oxides are formed during combustion processes and can cause eye and throat irritation, difficulty breathing, and facilitate respiratory infections.
– Tropospheric ozone. It is a secondary pollutant generated from NOx, volatile organic compounds, CO, and, to lesser extent methane, in the presence of solar radiation. It is a powerful oxidant, which causes nasal and eye irritation, respiratory and heart problems and exacerbates asthmatic processes.
– Sulfur oxides are more linked to industrial processes, such as the burning of coal, and can cause bronchitis and exacerbation of asthma.
CO 2 is a non-toxic gas whose massive emission by fossil fuel combustion has caused climate change. Their concentrations can be used as an indicator of adequate ventilation of interior spaces. When certain thresholds are exceeded, it is convenient to ventilate, either naturally or forced.
Asbestos or asbestos used in construction can enter the environment and be inhaled in dilapidated buildings or demolition or rehabilitation tasks. It causes asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a type of cancer closely associated with it.