The average family spends 90% of their time indoors, so the quality of your indoor air is paramount to your health and to the health of your loved ones.
In fact, the EPA has listed indoor air pollution among the top five environmental dangers posed to Americans today.
Getting regular measurements of your home’s indoor air quality is a vital step in ensuring the health of your family.
Importance of Indoor Air Quality Inspection for Homebuyers
We strongly advise that people take their indoor air quality seriously, especially when it comes to their home. The air we breathe can have a significant impact on our overall health and well-being, which is why it’s important to ensure that the air inside our homes is as clean and safe as possible.
There are a number of reasons why an indoor air quality inspection of a home is important prior to purchasing a home. For starters, indoor air pollution can have a range of negative health effects, including respiratory problems, allergies, and even cancer. These risks can be especially concerning for children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing health conditions.
In addition to health concerns, poor indoor air quality can also lead to structural damage to the home. Mold, for example, can grow and spread quickly in damp, humid environments, (like we have in Alabama and Georgia), causing damage to walls, floors, and ceilings. Other pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and radon gas, can also have a negative impact on the indoor air quality of the structure of a home over time.
Finally, an indoor air quality inspection can help identify potential issues prior to purchasing the home which allows you address them before you move in. This can include things like installing air purifiers, improving ventilation, sanitation or even addressing issues with the home’s HVAC system, which can impact both the health of the occupants and the efficiency of the home’s heating and cooling systems. This can result in increased energy bills, poor air circulation, and other issues that can impact the overall comfort and livability of the home.
Overall, an indoor air quality inspection is an important step to take prior to purchasing a home, as it can help identify any potential health risks, structural issues, or problems with the home’s HVAC system that may need to be addressed before moving in.
PM2.5 & PM10 – Particulate Matter Sizes in Micrometers
Sources of PM2.5 & PM10
There are both natural and anthropogenic (i.e. manmade) sources of PM2.5. Carbonaceous (organic) material from traffic causes a direct adverse effect on health and has been identified as a most evident source of PM2.5. Burning fuels such as oil, gasoline, or wood can directly contribute to the rising of PM levels. On the other hand, windblown dust and chemical reactions between different gases (e.g., nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus etc.) and other substances (e.g., ammonia) can indirectly enhance the rising of atmospheric PM levels.
Power stations as well as Industrial sources contribute most to manmade pollutants (35%), trailed by vehicles or road traffic (24%), suburban (13%), and shipping (10%). Natural sources of particulate matter include sea salt that results in 5-15% of urban background PM2.5 and with higher contributions found near the coastal areas.
Health Effects of PM2.5 & PM10
Exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) has harmful consequences on human health, the environment, and climate change. Many researches have already provided multitudes of information concerning the hazardous adverse effects of PM exposure.
As PM2.5 are finer particles, they can penetrate deeply and travel through the respiratory system to reach the lung. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) reported that high-level exposure to PM could increase hospital admissions and premature death of the old and sick because of respiratory and cardiovascular system illnesses. As evidence, the COMEAP showed statistical data on high pollution days and this data revealed that both PM10 and PM2.5 caused additional hospital admissions and premature deaths. The EPA has more information on the effects of particulate pollution.2
Long-term PM exposure is associated with chronic respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases, including lung cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, poor cognitive function, diabetes, and heart attack.
Short-term PM exposure during pollution episodes can produce less severe effects, including temporary breathing difficulty, worsening of asthma symptoms, feeling of unwell, decreased activity level, etc.
In addition to adverse health effects, PM2.5 also has other widespread effects on the environment and climate change. The environmental effect can contribute to biodiversity loss, damaging plants as well as corrosion of buildings.
eTVOC – Equivalent Total Volatile Organic Compounds