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One of the most important aspects of life is good ventilation. Clean air plays a very major role in the health of a person. The fact that most people spend uncountable hours indoors calls for more stringent measures in ensuring good ventilation in our homes, offices, cars, and indoor social places. This paper discusses the various sources of indoor pollution as well as applicable methods in enhancing quality indoor ventilation.
Indoor pollution can come from many sources such as incomplete combustion which produces carbon monoxide, construction materials such as wood paints adhesives, carpets, damp furniture, and asbestos from heat insulation systems and fibercok. Things we use at home such as cleaning agents or solvents are also potentially harmful since they may contain among other chemicals, formaldehyde. Some may even come through animals such as pigeon droppings or guano.
However, much concern about the effect of volatile organic compounds on air have been raised “widespread use of new products and materials in our days has resulted in increased concentrations of indoor pollutants, especially of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that pollute indoor air and maybe affect human health” (ECA 7).
Indoor air pollution is potentially dangerous. Most of the pollutants have either short or long term effects. Some pollutants such as carbon monoxide are an instant killer. Formaldehyde has been claimed to cause “Nasal and eye irritation, neurological effects, and increased risk of asthma and/or allergy have been observed in humans breathing 0.1 to 0.5 ppm” (ATSDR 1). Asbestos is used in most heat applications.
It is believed that asbestos affects the respiratory system. Pigeon Guano causes Histoplasmosis which, according to Illinois department of public health, “The disease is transmitted to humans by airborne fungus spores from soil contaminated by pigeon and starling droppings” (IDPH 1).
Moisture on food especially cereals causes aflatoxins which has killed a lot of people through food poisoning. The impact of all the indoor pollutants on human health cannot be explained in one book. This shows how important quality indoor ventilation is for quality life.
Quality indoor ventilation
It is imperative to analyse and understand the possible causes of indoor air pollutants and possible likely signs or symptoms of effects of poor air pollution before employing any method of improving air quality. Different pollutants require different methods of dealing with the problem. Nevertheless there are general approaches that are likely to yield excellent results.
Opening of windows may minimise dampness, air conditioners will improve on air flow in the room, exhausts from diesel generators and other machineries should be directed away from the houses, pigeon traps and good house roofing may help keep pigeon droppings off. Excellent storage of solvents and other chemicals used indoors should be encouraged.
Building materials such as adhesives, asbestos and fibercoks should be installed according to the stipulated guidelines. Limited use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is also recommended. However, there are many more methods of effecting indoor air quality.
The importance of effective indoor air quality is immeasurable. Every effort must be made to improve air quality either indoors. Stringent measures must be taken to enhance air quality by following various stipulated guidelines. Good room condition is good to ensure that human health is maintained and that unnecessary diseases are kept away thus lowering the medical expenses of a family.
ATSDR. Toxic Substances Portal. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, 2011. Web.
ECA. Indoor Air Quality & Its Impact on Man. European Collaborative Action, 1997. Web.
IDPH. Health Hazards Associated With Bird And Bat Droppings. Illinois Department of Public Health. Web.