Solutions to Indoor Air Pollution
Simple Solutions to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
- Source Control
We cannot stress the importance of reducing, and/or removing the source of the indoor air pollution. This may be a contaminated carpet, wall, or even ventilation (HVAC) system.
- Ensure proper ventilation
Once the sources to pollution have been removed, the air must be cleaned and circulated with natural outdoor air. Increase the amount of outdoor, natural air coming indoors. Open windows, doors, turn on fans in windows, attics, crawl spaces, turn on kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, and air conditioning units with vent open.
- Ensure proper air filtration/cleaning
The EPA provides a comprehensive list of air cleaners ranging from small table-top versions to sophisticated whole-house models.
- Replace Old Filters
Old filters in heating, air conditioning, and ventilation units (HVAC), can be a major cause of indoor air pollution, and must be monitored, and replaced if necessary.
- Smoke Outside
We don’t have to tell you the endless list of contaminants and resulting adverse health effects caused by smoking.
- Avoid Painting, Spraying Combustible products indoors (or near ventilation units)
Following this rule, would have saved the University of Massachusetts Boston more than $600,000, several staff jobs, and one newly painted couch.
- Maintain clean roof, gutters, storm drainage
To prevent water leaks, and moisture buildups in the home, basement, etc.
- Reduce and Remove Moisture
The simple fact is that mold needs moisture to live. Control moisture and control mold.
- Leave Asbestos Up To The Professionals
The single worst thing anyone can do is remove, or stir up asbestos-containing objects; sheetrock, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, etc.
- Test Your Home
If the problem persists, use a simple home test kit, or hire an indoor air quality professional for a consultation.
Solutions to Indoor Air Pollution at the Office/Workplace
Things Everyone in the Office Can Do
- Do not block air vents or grills
- Comply with the office and building smoking policy
- Clean up water, liquid spills quickly
Alert management with any notice of water leaks, or spills.
- Maintain reasonable temperature and humidity levels
High humidity can lead to moisture, and mold, as well as discomfort and decreased comfort, productivity, etc.
- Proper Space Planning
Place furniture, desks, and computers with ventilation systems in mind.
Solutions to Asbestos Pollution
- Don’t Panic
Asbestos is used in many household products, and generally will not release asbestos into the air unless disturbed.
- Do not cut, rip, or sand asbestos-containing materials.
Ripping, cutting, or moving the materials can release the asbestos into the air. If the asbestos material is more than slightly damaged, or if you are going to make changes in your home that might disturb it, repair or removal by a professional is needed.
- Call a professional asbestos contractor
Be certain the contractor has the appropriate accreditations, reputation, and equipment to conduct the tests. The EPA recommends sealing the materials if possible, rather than moving them.
Solutions to Mold, Moisture Contamination
In all instances it is important to Act fast, as mold damages your home as it grows. Remember that unless the source of the moisture, or cause of water leak is rectified, the mold will regrow, and continue to cause damage and health concerns.
For more information, or to request a professional indoor air quality consultation:
- Hays, Steve M (1995) Indoor Air Quality Solutions and Strategies. McGraw-Hill Inc., 1