What is Indoor Air quality?
We spend over 90% of our lives indoors (at home, school, work,
in our cars, etc). It makes sense that we keep our indoor air as clean
Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality!
Because breathing isn't optional, the air you breathe, no matter where
you breathe it, should be as clean as possible. While we most often
focus on outdoor air pollution, there are many pollutants indoors that
deserve equal attention and action. The good news is, a safe and
pleasant indoor "world" can often be achieved by making simple changes
to your everyday routine.
- Indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air.
- Ninety percent (90%) or more of each day is spent in our home,
school, workplace, or car.
- The elderly, the very young, pregnant women, and those with
allergies, asthma and other respiratory ailments are often the first
to notice indoor air pollution problems.
- Indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health
risks. Small changes can make a big impact on the quality of indoor
Remember, Breathing isn't Optional!
- Household Cleaners - When using household cleaners, open
windows, turn on exhaust fans, and use only according to
- Excess Moisture - To reduce moisture from cooking and
dishwashing, install and use exhaust fans. Open windows whenever
- Formaldehyde (in pressed wood furniture and paneling.) -
Avoid pressed-wood furniture/paneling, etc., whenever possible. Look
for pressed-wood products coated with polyurethane or laminates.
These help reduce formaldehyde emissions. After purchase or
installation, open windows and maintain moderate temperatures and
humidity for several weeks.
- Unvented Fuel-burning Stoves and Ranges - Keep your
fuel-burning range and stove in good working order. Keep burners
adjusted properly (blue flame, not yellow). Never use a gas
appliance to heat your home. Install and use exhaust fans.
- Pressed Wood Furniture/Paneling - See
- Carpet - Clean and dry or remove water-damaged carpets.
When installing new carpet, ask the retailer to air out the carpet
before installation. Ask for low-emitting adhesives when adhesives
are needed, and leave the premises before and after installation.
Ventilate by using fans, open windows, and room air conditioners.
- Draperies - Some new drapes may be treated with a
formaldehyde-based finish and may emit formaldehyde for a short
time. Ventilate by opening doors and windows, or running exhaust
fans and/or room air conditioners. Maintain moderate temperatures
and low humidity.
- Dry Cleaned Goods - Don't bring dry cleaned goods inside
your home with chemical odors still intact. Hang them in a garage or
outdoors until chemical odors are gone.
- Humidifiers - Clean often and according to manufacturer's
directions. Refill with clean water.
- Moth Repellents (with paradicholorbenzene) - Avoid
breathing vapors. Place moth balls in trunks or other containers and
store separately and always away from living areas.
- Animals - Clean house and bath animals regularly.
- Asbestos (found in insulation, floor tiles and on walls,
etc.) - Don't bother asbestos if it isn't damaged or deteriorating.
Call a professional for removal or repairs.
- Fireplace & Woodstove - Open flues completely when
appliances are in operation. Have the flue and chimney inspected
annually for blockages, leaks, or other damage. Choose a unit that
meets US EPA emissions standards. Burn only clean, well dried wood;
never use pressed wood or treated wood. Maintain a small, hot fire.
- Fuel-Burning Appliances - Keep them in proper working
order. Have appliances checked annually. Poorly maintained
fuel-burning appliances can give off carbon monoxide, which is an
odorless, colorless gas that can cause death. If you suspect a
problem, call your fuel provider or the fire department.
- Ground Moisture (in basement, crawlspace or under slab) -
Clean and disinfect floor drains regularly. Keep all areas dry and
free of moisture and mildew.
- Lead Paint - Leave undisturbed if it is in good
condition. For sanding, removing, or burning off lead paint, hire a
- Stored Hobby Products - Items such as paint, glue, epoxy,
etc., should be used only according to manufacturers' instructions.
Use outdoors if possible. Indoors, open windows or use an exhaust
fan. Reseal containers well. Clean brushes and other materials
- Tobacco Smoke - Do not allow smoking in your home at all.
Use exhaust fans and/or open windows if smoking cannot be avoided.