Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.
Click to read ESG's blog post Pets and Indoor Air Quality
There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. These include
combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco
products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated,
asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture
made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and
maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems
and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and
outdoor air pollution.
The relative importance of any single source depends on how much of a given
pollutant it emits and how hazardous those emissions are. In some cases,
factors such as how old the source is and whether it is properly maintained are
significant. For example, an improperly adjusted gas stove can emit significantly
more carbon monoxide than one that is properly adjusted.
Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and household products
like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously. Other sources,
related to activities carried out in the home, release pollutants intermittently.
These include smoking, the use of unvented or malfunctioning stoves,furnaces,
or space heaters, the use of solvents in cleaning and hobby activities, the use of
paint strippers in redecorating activities, and the use of cleaning products and
pesticides in house-keeping. High pollutant concentrations can remain in the air
for long periods after some of these activities.
NEW! The EPA's Indoor airPLUS program has been introduced.
ESG provides the third-party assessment for the EPA's ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPLUS programs.