Environmental Testing Inc.
EPA asks, “Is the indoor air in your home worse than outside?”
Is your home plagued by poor indoor air quality? If you’re like thousands of families throughout Colorado and the rocky mountain region, chances are the answer to that question is yes. In fact, the EPA estimates that in many homes, the indoor air quality can be as much as 100 times worse than outdoor air quality! Indoor air quality is about more than just car exhaust and outdoor pollution – it’s important to know what can affect your air quality, what it can do to you, and how you can get rid of it!
Indoor air pollution is usually caused by the accumulation of contaminants from various sources inside a home. Emissions from fireplaces, stoves, cigarettes, cleaning products, newer building materials, mold and chemicals stored in the home can cause indoor air problems. People living in this type of environment may experience adverse health effects from breathing these contaminants.
Many factors contribute to indoor air pollution. Adding insulation and caulking to weatherize the home to save on energy costs can reduce air circulation and trap contaminants inside the home. Outdoor “make-up air” cannot enter the home and dilute contaminants. This is why health effects caused by indoor air pollution are often called “tight building syndrome” or “sick building syndrome.”
Many people underestimate the extent of the indoor air pollution problem. Air pollution is usually visualized as the black smoke emitted from factories. Little thought is given to tobacco smoke and the by-products of aerosol sprays, paints, cleaners, and pesticides used in the home. To compound the problem, it is estimated that the average American spends 70 percent to 90 percent of his or her time indoors, and more than half that time is spent in the home.