When close to 90% of our lives are spent inside, you would expect extensive measures would be taken to ensure our buildings provide healthy environments in which to live and work. Unfortunately, more often than not, tested air quality inside buildings is much worse than outside.
Here are some common causes of these indoor pollutants:
- Pesticide use during regular pest control treatments
- Pollutants (asthma triggers) from cleaning products, smoking, pets, pests, fuel use, etc;
- Inadequate ventilation;
- Mold and moisture build up from water leaks and inadequate ventilation; and,
- Carbon monoxide from appliances, heaters or other equipment.
This problem is made worse by the way in which the pollutants utilize air movement pathways throughout the building. Anywhere air can move, moisture can move and pollutants can move. This presents an intersection of energy efficiency and healthy buildings; air sealing these leakage pathways in the buildings stops pollutants from traveling and saves heating energy.
Let’s revisit the common pollutants and strategies for intervention and mitigation. You’ll notice a common theme of “find the source, stop the source, seal the holes.”