All of us face a variety of health risks as we go about our day-to-day lives. Driving in cars, flying in planes, engaging in recreational activities and exposure to environmental pollutants all pose varying degrees of risk. We accept risks because to do otherwise would restrict our ability to lead our lives normally. Other risks we might decide to avoid if we had the opportunity to make informed choices. Indoor air pollution is a risk that you can do something about.
Indoor air quality is the term describing the condition of air inside buildings. Such air quality is influenced by the temperature and humidity of the air and the level of carbon dioxide that is produced by occupants. Air quality may be influenced adversely by the presence of toxic air contaminants (particles, gases, vapours and fumes) and by agents that have specific irritating, offensive odours. The most common indoor contaminants are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) outgassed from interior furnishings. Microbiological contaminants (namely bacteria, mould, mildew and fungi) run a close second.
While air quality is often the major concern for a comfortable indoor environment, environments may also be influenced adversely by heating or cooling problems. These issues can cause noise, lighting and other problems.