Common residential air pollutants

residential air pollution

Indoor air pollutants both in biological or chemical forms are the major cause of air quality deterioration in homes throughout the United States.

Residential air quality pollutants can be classified into many, ranging from minor irritants like dust to the toxic ones including asbestos and mold.

Indoor air pollutants can be classified into two: Biological and Chemical:

• Biological Pollutants: mold, mildew, fungi, viruses, pollen and pet dander
• Chemical Pollutants: cigarette smoke, aerosols, chimneys and stove

This post features some common indoor residential air pollutions.

Asbestosis: asbestosis poisoning is one of the most critical air quality pollutants. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber found in rock and soil. The durability and the heat resistance of asbestos made it a popular choice in building construction.

However, inhaling the asbestos fiber is highly toxic to human health. Disturbing the asbestos via cutting, sanding or even remodeling attempts can release the fiber into the indoor environment. Prolonged exposure to asbestos fiber can endanger people living in the houses in concern.

Carbon monoxide: an odorless, colorless gas- carbon monoxide is another toxic component that has an adverse effect on indoor air quality. The fact that this gas is tasteless and odorless, makes it dangerous.
The effect of Carbon Monoxide varies with respect to different factors like the age, overall health, duration of exposure and concentration.

Some health concerns induced by carbon monoxide are fatigue, headache, chest pain and dizziness.
Some sources of carbon monoxide are gas stoves, tobacco smoke, leaking chimneys and faulty generators and other power equipments.

Biological pollutants: biological air pollutants include viruses, animal dander and other droppings in addition to dust mites and pollen.

The individual biological pollution might not be a big concern, however, a combination of one or two of these pollutants (Which is common in most of the houses in the United States) can raise health concerns based on the length of exposure.

Some sources of biological air quality pollutants are plant pollen, cat saliva, hose dust, mouse and rat droppings etc.

Symptoms of exposure to these biological pollutants include lethargy, watery eyes, short of breath and digestive issues.

Particulate Matter: Particulate Matter or PM is a conglomerate of solid or liquid particles light enough to hang in the air. These suspended particles can vary with respect to shape, size and composition. However, PM’s with a diameter of less than 10 micrometers can be really dangerous as they are easily inhalable.

Inhalation of PMs can turn out to be toxic as they can directly influence the functions of the respiratory systems and even the heart. As per some studies, the size of particulate matter can be directly linked to the seriousness of the health problems that the can inflict.

Some symptoms of PM inhalation are throat irritation, respiratory diseases, lung diseases. Particulate matter can be released into the indoor environment via tobacco smoke, leaky fireplaces, heaters, and stoves

The common residential air quality pollutants listed above are hard to identify, especially the chemical pollutants. This is where an experienced and certified professional can make a big difference. Consider contacting your air quality restoration specialist if you have any concerns regarding indoor air quality.