Indoor Air Quality a Larger Problem than Most People Realize
Even in Portland, Oregon indoor air quality is causing health issues.
The EPA ranks indoor air pollution among the top 5 environmental risks to public health – and most people have no idea.
Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health but may not know that indoor air pollution can also have significant harmful effects. Yet indoor air pollution is on the rise, both nationally and here in Portland, Oregon. In fact, a study of the number of patients discharged with asthma from Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon and Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, reveal a dramatic increase over a 20-year time frame.
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor levels of many pollutants may be four to five times higher than outdoor levels. Such high levels of indoor air pollutants are concerning for healthcare workers and the families they serve, because it is estimated that most people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors – and this is especially true for residents of Portland, Oregon and the rest of the Northwest which has a cooler, damper climate.
Over the past several decades, our exposure to indoor air pollutants is believed to have increased due to a variety of factors, including the construction of more tightly sealed buildings, reduced ventilation rates to save energy, the use of synthetic building materials and furnishings, and the use of chemically formulated personal care products, pesticides and household cleaners.
In recent years, comparative risk studies performed by EPA and its Science Advisory Board have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. The EPA, in close cooperation with other Federal agencies and the private sector, has begun a concerted effort to better understand indoor air pollution and to reduce peoples’ exposure to air pollutants in offices, homes, schools and other indoor environments where people live, work and play.
Facts About Indoor Air Quality
- EPA studies indicate that indoor levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels.
- Asthma is on the rise – with cases rising almost 60%. Asthma also affect 13% of children and 15 million Americans
- Most American homeowners are unaware that pollution may be far worse inside their homes than outdoors.
- The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 30% of newly constructed and remodeled facilities have indoor air quality problems.
- Because they breathe faster than adults, children inhale 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults and are especially sensitive to air quality problems.
- Over 28 million Americans suffer from hay fever and other allergies.
Maintaining Safe Indoor Air Quality
Thanks to clean air systems like the ones from Lennox, many households and workplaces can dramatically improve their Indoor Air Quality and save money by installing a more efficient Indoor Air Quality system onto their HVAC installation.
Sunset Heating & Cooling can develop and install efficient, clean air HVAC solutions for both commercial and residential properties in Portland,Oregon. Clean air will improve the quality of life for everyone in your household or workplace.