Frequently Asked Questions About Indoor Air Quality

Magnifying Glass Over the Words Frequently Asked Questions

What is Indoor Air Quality?

The quality of the air inside a building may have good or bad effects on the occupants of the building. Good quality air won't have gases or particles at concentrations that cause health problems. Bad quality air will have concentrations of one or more particles that cause health problems ranging from minor temporary issues to moderate problems that cause missed work days to long lasting or even fatal effects.

How Common are Indoor Air Quality Problems?

The World Health Organization has stated that about thirty percent of all commercial buildings have significant indoor air quality problems.

What Constitutes a Significant Air Quality Problem?

You can't get away from toxins, gases or airborne particles as they are always present. It is the level of concentration that affects air quality. If one person experiences allergy, cold or flu- like symptoms, the problem is small. On the other hand, if people entering a building begin feeling sick and the symptoms go away shortly after they leave, that indicates a more serious problem.

What affects Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor Air Quality may be affected by a number of factors including: organic and inorganic particles in the air and in the air handling system. These may include dust, pollen, molds, bacteria, viruses, soot, lint and other particles. These particles may be carried throughout a facility by the air handling system.

How Serious are Indoor Air Quality Problems?

It depends. The affects of poor indoor quality air may be barely noticeable symptoms such as occasional flu-like symptoms, sinus issues, or allergy symptoms that are assumed to be normal, everyday colds, flues or allergies which cause occasional missed work days. At the extreme end of the spectrum are potential problems such as outbreaks of Legionnaire's disease, permanent respiratory system problems and workers continually getting ill or feeling sick.