IAQ stands for Indoor Air Quality. It is the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. The quality of indoor air can affect the health and wellness of those who are breathing it.
There are many factors that can affect indoor air quality testing, including:
- Pollutants from outside the building: These can include traffic fumes, industrial emissions, and pollen.
- Pollutants from inside the building: These can include mold, dust mites, pet dander, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and tobacco smoke.
- Building design and construction: The way a building is designed and constructed can affect indoor air quality. For example, buildings with poor ventilation can trap pollutants inside.
- Building maintenance: The way a building is maintained can also affect indoor air quality. For example, buildings that are not cleaned regularly can build up dust and other pollutants.
Poor indoor air quality can cause a variety of health problems, including:
- Eye, nose, and throat irritation: This can include coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose.
- Headaches: These can be mild or severe.
- Asthma attacks: These can be life-threatening.
- Respiratory infections: These can include bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Cancer: Some pollutants have been linked to cancer.
There are a number of things that can be done to improve indoor air quality, including:
- Ventilate the building regularly. This can be done by opening windows and doors, or by using fans and air purifiers.
- Eliminate sources of pollution. This can include cleaning up mold, dust mites, and pet dander.
- Choose low-VOC products. When you are buying new products for your home, look for products that have low levels of volatile organic compounds.
- Have your home inspected for indoor air quality problems. If you are concerned about the quality of the air in your home, you can have it inspected by a professional.
By taking steps to improve indoor air quality, you can help to protect your health and the health of your family.