Approximately 53 million children and 6 million adults in the U.S. spend a significant portion of their days in more than 120,000 public and private buildings. Many of these buildings contain indoor air pollutants that pose increased risks to the health of children and staff. Poor indoor air quality can greatly affect concentration, attendance, and overall performance.
Understanding and controlling some of the most common indoor air pollutants found in schools, and commercial buildings can help improve your indoor air quality and reduce the risk of health concerns.
Indoor Air Pollutants
Mold & Bacteria
The presence of moisture within school and office building structures stimulates the growth of mold. Molds can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. Inhaling or touching mold can cause fever-like symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes. Mold can also trigger asthma attacks.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless odorless gas. CO is most commonly created in improperly vented furnaces, worn or poorly maintained combustion devices, and by exhaust fumes that have been drawn back into the building. Exposure to CO may result in a variety of flu-like symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, headaches, disorientation, and nausea.
Classroom & Office Supplies
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals found in the common classroom and office supplies such as glues, paints, and cleaning supplies. VOCs evaporate into the air when these products are used or where they are stored. VOCs can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. Exposure can cause headaches, and damage to the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system.
Some pollutants cause health problems such as sore eyes, burning in the nose and throat, headaches, or fatigue. Other pollutants cause or worsen allergies, respiratory illnesses, heath disease, cancer, and other serious long-term conditions.
Asthma is the most common health issue affecting students due to increased levels of indoor air pollutants. Nearly 1 in 3 school-aged children suffers from asthma. Asthma is a respiratory condition that can affect one’s quality of life for many years. Allergens most commonly found in schools and offices that can trigger asthma include dust mites, pests, and molds.
Schools: Did you know that children’s airways are smaller? Children take in more oxygen than adults, making them more susceptible.
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, contact your local HVAC Provider today for pricing and installation