An indoor air
pollutant is a substance that is present inside buildings
that has a harmful health effect on the occupants of the building.
Since most people spend more time indoors than outdoors, exposure
to indoor air pollutants is an important environmental hazard.
air pollutants have
become a serious problem in recent years due to efforts by builders
to make homes and other buildings more energy efficient. Modern
buildings are built to restrict the flow of air from the inside
out and vice versa. These new building practices work well to save
energy. However, reduced airflow in a building can cause air quality
problems in three ways.
- New buildings
contain new types of insulation
that are developed to help us use less air conditioning during
the summer and less heating during the winter. This new
insulation can add to indoor air pollution because of chemicals,
formaldehyde, used to make the newer types of insulation.
amounts of outside air entering a building can cause the levels
of air pollutants to build up over time and become greater than
outdoor levels of air pollution.
- Large air
conditioning and heating units have lots of air duct space for
molds and bacteria to grow in.
There are many
types of indoor air pollutants. Go to the next page to find
out about different types of indoor air pollution.