Skip to content

Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important And Standards For IAQ

Even your house can’t protect you from health issues resulting from the atmosphere. Acknowledging "Why is indoor air quality important" will secure you.

IAQ Boost is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Over 500,000 employers working in offices are involved in health hazards. This phenomenon is partly caused by the environment in enclosed spaces where they spend hours per day. In other words, the above figure is the answer to the question “why is indoor air quality important?

This writing will equip you with fundamental knowledge about IAQ and the safety standard for it. Further information about the polluted enclosed atmosphere will be attached. 

Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?

Indoor air is defined as the atmosphere in an enclosed space that people fill with diversified health states for the least time of one hour. The space can be a classroom, office, building, shopping center, home, the hospital. 

What is indoor air quality? IAQ is the whole range of elements of enclosed atmosphere that have effects on human health status and safety. Thus, IAQ is important as breathing is the basic demand for existence. 

Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important
Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important

People spend a certain amount of time in in-house places, regardless of if they are working, relaxing, or sleeping. Paying attention to the clean indoor atmosphere is protecting ourselves.

Furthermore, among the indoor air quality facts, there are some typical criteria to tell if the ambience within your room is clean or not:

  • The concentration of Carbon dioxide, which is the trace gas that people exhale. 
  • Nitrogen oxides which is the emission from fossil fuels’ combustion.
  • Volatile organic compounds, a.k.a attributed to carbon evaporating at room temperature or higher.
  • Others: formaldehyde, dust, pollen or molds, humidity, temperature. 

Standards For Indoor Air Quality

The guidelines of IAQ released by the World Health Organization for Europe are measured by TVOC concentration. The target value of TVOC concentration for indoor flow must fall somewhere between from 0 to 0.05 ppm. Meanwhile, over 0.61 ppm is the rate of unacceptably great increase. 

In addition, there exists an indoor air quality standards chart provided by the German Federal Environmental Agency with more specific data. 

From 0 to 0.065 ppm of TVOC concentration, no limitation for air inhalation is required. The recommended time for exposure of IAQ with 0.22-0.66 ppm and 0.66-2.2 ppm is less than 12 months and one month, respectively.

We should stay in a room with the IAQ having 2.2-5.5 ppm TVOC level for a few hours for health insurance.

Standards For Indoor Air Quality
Standards For Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Pollution: Cause, Effects, And Solutions

Examples

Here are some significant indoor air pollution examples:

  • Radon: A radioactive gas entering the building from the ground. 
  • Excess moisture. When the ambient temperature drops, water vapor tends to condense rather than stay in the air. The droplets, including excess, condenses and mildew, dust, or mold, will stay on the surface. 
  • Tobacco smoke: An adequate amount of particles and gasses is released by smoking.
  • Combustion products: Mostly carbon monoxide (CO) or nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Several substances, such as formaldehyde, are evaporated, including body odors.
indoor air pollution examples
Cigarette The Last Cigarette Smoking Ashtray

Causes

This part provides more details about indoor air pollutants and their sources. First are the ones coming from nature. 

Radon gas gets into the room’s atmosphere through the foundation’s holes or cracks. Meanwhile, lead is absorbed mainly by kids through the digestive or respiratory system.

There is pollen from plants along with mold, bacteria, or viruses transmitted by living bodies to be listed. Another source is the dried protein in mice’s urine and others from water or moisture.

Polluted IAQ is also caused by humans and the appliances or materials in the enclosed space.

People have bad habits such as smoking or forgetting to seal the gas-heated stove to help the contaminants spread.

Besides, materials used in building houses can be the root. Some types contain formaldehyde. Meanwhile, some appliances like refrigerators or cookstoves can emit CO and NO2. Many daily products such as paints, cleaners, and aerosol or pests spray are similar.

Gas is a typical source of indoor pollutants
Gas is a typical source of indoor pollutants

Effects 

The indoor air pollution effects on people’s health are becoming more diversified and serious.

Most of the effects appear in the form of physical symptoms, commonly sinus discomfort, eye irritation, headaches, or congestion in the upper respiratory. 

In some cases, people would catch serious infections or drowsiness, breathing irregularity. Not to mention job stress with strains consisting of anger, anxiety, stomach disturbances are advanced by poor IAQ. 

Solutions

What are the indoor air pollution solutions? Follow these tips to reduce the concentration of the contaminants that affect the IAQ in your room:

  • Control sources: Remember to properly seal or enclose the gas stoves and sources containing asbestos. Reduce the use of formaldehyde in manufacture. Check on the pipes of your fridge or cooking stoves regularly. Avoid too much or quit smoking.
  • Clean atmosphere: Apply air cleaner in your house as well as make use of indoor houseplants. 
  • Improving ventilation: Open doors and windows when it is possible to increase the rate of outdoor ventilation. Reduce the activities of painting, cooking, kerosene heating, soldering, and welding indoors.
indoor air pollution solutions

Last Words

It is necessary to have a deep understanding of “why is indoor air quality important?” to protect yourself and the people around you from health hazards. 

Remember to maintain the IAQ of your enclosed space at the target value of TVOC concentration. Follow the provided advice to deal with the pollutants immediately.

A funny fact is that source controlling not only improves enclosed air quality but is also beneficial for your finances.

Related

Featured on

Yahoo News
Parade
Bustle
Insider
Cnn
BuzzFeed