The Good Air Lady
The Good Air Lady
talks about what you breathe
indoors and out

Indoor Air Quality Standards

OSHA has indoor air quality standards that, if followed, will help maintain the health and productivity of building occupants. Indoor air quality measurement will help identify what pollutants are present in a given building or space so that steps can be taken to improve the situation. Gases and particulates are common pollutants to measure and filter, but indoor air quality biological pollutants should take just as much attention because they can cause as much, if not more, health problems. The most common biological pollutants are mold, affecting indoor air quality for many people. Check with the EPA and OSHA to find the persistent pollutants and indoor air quality list to help guide your indoor air quality plans.

Indoor air quality standards regulate the amount of pollutants, the types of pollutants, and the ventilation an area should have. While there are no official standards establish for homes, the standards used in commercial buildings can be applied. OSHA (Occupational Safety And Health Administration) provides guidelines that every business needs to follow in order to keep its employees safe. It also provides a "persistent pollutants and indoor air quality list" to raise your awareness. If you take this to the level of the home, you will see just what is important for you to know.

The first step in determining what air quality is present is to use indoor air quality measurement tools. These tools can be both one time use products or they can be installed into the structure to allow for continuous monitoring of the air quality. In many businesses, they are needed to insure that the air remains of good quality. Gasses are a common air pollutant that are measured and resolved, but indoor air quality biological pollutants that are worrisome too.

Here are some persistent pollutants and an indoor air quality list that you need to keep in mind:

  • Combustion sources. Resources like oil, kerosene, wood, coal, gas, and even tobacco products are prevalent polluters.

  • Building materials and furnishings. These include carpeting (which is even worse when it's wet), asbestos, and pressed wood products.

  • Chemicals. Cleaning products, personal care items, and materials often used for hobbies like glue, plastics, and paints, are indoor pollutants.

  • Appliances. Heating and cooling systems, and even humidifiers, can lower indoor air quality.

  • Outdoor pollution. Pesticides, radon and air pollution can cause problems indoors.

  • Molds. The most common mold in indoor air quality can be controlled simply by maintaining effective moisture control in the area.

  • Indoor air quality plans need to be implemented to help safeguard against health problems. These plans can help you to react when air quality gets bad. This attention can mean the difference between healthy and sick building occupants.

    It is also important to plan some time outdoors. Here’s a formula for problems: "indoor air quality + time spent outdoors = the onset of problems in health". The more time that an individual spends inside where there may be constant air quality issues, the more health problems he or she will have and the sooner those problems will occur.

    Pollutants filter into buildings. Steps need to be taken at to control those that do. With proper steps, you can improve indoor air quality of homes or businesses and offices. Put in place a plan to help you when you do find that there is a large health risk, for example if chemicals are spilled or there carbon monoxide is present. Use air purification and/or air filter systems to rid your home of particles and chemicals in the air that can cause problems.

    Strive to keep indoor air quality standards high so that building occupants are healthy and alert.