Indoor Air Pollution
Source of Potentially Significant Human Exposure to Pollutants
Did you know that United States Environmental Protection Agency studies have shown that indoor air pollution may pose even greater health risks than outdoor air pollution? This is because indoor concentrations of some pollutants may be many times higher than their levels outdoors and people spend most of their time (up to about 90%) indoors. Because so many people are not aware of this, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District feels both an obligation and the need to provide this information to you. If you want to learn more about indoor air pollution in homes and elsewhere, then read on.
Some ways you can be exposed to pollutants are:
- smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke,
- inhaling or contacting pesticides during mixing and application,
- inhaling emissions from indoor gas stoves and fireplaces,
- eating and drinking foods and beverages contaminated with harmful bacteria,
- eating harmful chemicals produced in overheated and burned foods, and - Check out the ALA's index of IAQ information
- inhaling allergens in air containing pollen, molds, pet dander, mite fragments, etc.
Learn How to Improve Both Your and Your Family's Health
Montana State University - MSU runs EPA's "Healthy Indoor Air for America's Homes" national program, including the National Home Indoor Air Quality Action & Awareness Month. Check out its comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) program, at http://www.healthyindoorair.org. Click the National IAQ Month tab and learn about the activities for October, including weekly IAQ topic areas such as secondhand smoke and children's health action week, children and asthma action week and radon action week, along with related information and programs that often have an education component for young people. Check out the other links and learn more about, e.g. health effects, indoor air hazards, and other program information.
Other Valuable Information Resources
Here are other links to more good IAQ information!
USEPA - Read about multi-topic IAQ information on asthma, secondhand smoke, mold, radon and schools (including Tools for Schools), homes, offices, IAQ basics and more, including publications, at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/. Read about children's issues from EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection (OCHP), at http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/homepage. Check the various links, including a link to tips to protect children from environmental risks, at http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/tips.htm and a link to publications addressing children's environmental health issues (including the Child Health Champion Resource Guide), at http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/publications2.htm. Kids and their parents will enjoy and learn from the "Environmental Explorer's Club" page, at http://www.epa.gov/kids and about asthma, at http://www.epa.gov/asthma, which has various links, including one to EPA's Asthma News at http://www.epa.gov/asthma/news.html. Read about "Integrated Pest Management for Schools: A How-to Manual", at http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/pest/school/index.html, and IAQ "What's New" updates, at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/whatsnew.html.
California Department of Health Services (DOHS) Indoor Air Quality Program - Check the program's home page, at http://www.cal-iaq.org, to learn about its research, section publications, and reports and information sheets on topics such as reducing office building occupant exposures, etc. Read the publication called "Mold In My Home, What Do I Do?" in an English version, at http://www.cal-iaq.org/mold0107.pdf, and in a Spanish version, at http://www.cal-iaq.org/MOHO_2006-06.pdf). Check out the "Infosheets", at http://www.cal-iaq.org/iaqsheet.htm, and the links accessible from that page, to learn about mold, indoor ozone, air cleaners , healthy homes and schools, asbestos, radon, environmental tobacco smoke and volatile organic compounds.
California Air Resources Board (CARB) Indoor Air Quality Program Read about CARB's IAQ and personal exposure assessment program, with links to various IAQ topics, at http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/indoor.htm. Among the various links provided, check out the links to children's health, at http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/kidshealth1.htm, and indoor guidelines and factsheets, at http://http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/guidelines1.htm.
American Lung Association at, http://www.lungusa.org/site/apps/lk/links.htm?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=36056, to learn about indoor contaminants, air quality at home, at work and in schools, and other topics. Review its fact sheet on indoor asthma triggers, at http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.htm?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35622.
National Safety Council - Read about the NSC's indoor air program, at http://www.nsc.org/ehc/indoor/iaq.htm, and link to many IAQ-related topics including, e.g., floods and how they can cause IAQ problems, asbestos, asthma, biological contaminants, combustion appliances, environmental tobacco smoke, IAQ in the home, kid's corner, schools, radon, sick building syndrome and pesticides, and its educational documents and activities. Check out its fact sheet library, at http://www.nsc.org/library/facts.htm and learn more about IAQ, at http://www.nsc.org/library/facts/indorair.htm, and asthma, at http://www.nsc.org/library/facts/asthma.htm.
Central Contra Costa Sanitary District - Through the Education link on CCCSD's home page, at http://www.centralsan.org, check the links to homes and businesses. Check out the Residential Resources page and learn about the proper use and disposal of common chemical products you may use in and around your house. Learn about how to control common pests using less toxic methods both in homes and gardens, and also read the household chemical factsheets about household hazardous waste and pollution prevention.
San Francisco City and County - Learn about the Department of the Environment's various environmental activities, at http://www.sfgov.org/sfenvironment. For example, under Innovative City Programs, read about less toxic pest management (IPM). From the IPM page, link to, e.g., Pest Info for specific pest data, and to Chemical Info for the city's approved pesticide list report.
Santa Clara County Recycling & Waste Reduction Commission - Look at the SCCRWRC web site, http://claraweb.co.santa-clara.ca.us/iwm/frame.htm, for integrated waste management information on, e.g., conserving resources and safe disposal methods. Learn about household hazardous waste from the link under "Recycling Basics".
City of Fort Collins, Colorado - Identify and solve IAQ problems, and get other information on indoor air pollution, at http://www.fcgov.com/airquality/indoor-air-quality.php.