Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
What is IAQ?
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term which refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. IAQ can be affected by gases (including carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds), particulates, microbial contaminants (mould, bacteria, viruses) or any mass or energy stressor that can induce adverse health conditions.
Determination of IAQ involves the collection of air samples, monitoring human exposure to pollutants, collection of samples on building surfaces and computer modelling of airflow inside buildings.
Why is IAQ important?
Indoor air is becoming an increasingly more concerning health hazard than outdoor air. Most contaminants are produced indoors and are a result of human activity.
Since we spend over 70-90% of our time indoors, having a safe, comfortable and healthy environment is essential. Hence, sufficient attention concerning indoor air quality should be paid.
How to maintain a good IAQ?
One method to control the air quality is by limiting the pollutants emission. However, changing our activities, habits, and necessities to limit such emissions are neither feasible nor possible. Therefore, alternatives to reduce the risk of such pollutants have to be applied.
There are three fundamental methods of improving IAQ according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
- Source control
- Air Cleaning