Gaseous pollutants such as formaldehyde can affect a building's occupants, study says.

Indoor air pollution can affect a person’s health and well-being, health authorities say, but not all contaminants are equal.

In a study on the negative effects of poor indoor air quality, gaseous pollutants such as formaldehyde and acrolein as well as small particles and particulates turned out to be the bad guys.

Formaldehyde and acrolein had the largest estimated number of annual disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost per 100,000 people of all the various indoor pollutants considered, at 46 (95% CI 0.2 to 14,000) and 47 (95% CI 2.4 to 1050), respectively, according to Jennifer Logue and colleagues from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, California, as reported by MedPage Today.

The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death.

This means that these pollutants are just as bad as or even worse than radon and secondhand smoke.

Tiny particles proved to be another concern, because they have been linked to incidents of stroke, chronic bronchitis, and premature death.

The researchers wanted to find out the health impact of poor indoor air quality at home. They used disease impact models and incidence to identify those indoor air pollutants (IAPs) with the greatest impacts on health.

Without taking radon and secondhand smoke into account, the researchers estimate that the total annual health impact of poor IAQ in U.S. homes is 1,100 DALYs per 100,000 people.

Simple steps to clean indoor air

Concerned building owners and facility managers can easily improve the indoor air quality in their home, with three simple action steps:

  1. Source control: Limit chemical-laden products and choose more natural products whenever possible. This pertains to renovation and constructions materials, furniture, cleaning products, textiles, etc.
  2. Ventilation: Make sure the existing ventilation system is working and is well maintained. Change the filters regularly.
  3. Air cleaning: A portable air cleaner with many pounds of activated carbon + HEPA can help remove contaminants from the air, including many chemicals and VOCs such as formaldehyde and acrolein, particles, dust, allergens and more.

Electrocorp offers industrial-strength air cleaners for specific rooms or to be attached to existing ventilation systems, featuring large activated carbon filters, HEPA and UV (optional).

The multistage filtration system traps a wide range of contaminants, including VOCs and gases, particulate matter, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and more options.

Advertisements