Indoor Air Quality - Eliminate Allergens in Every Room
Updated: May 1
People spend a quarter or more of their week indoors; all that time can expose occupants to allergens that could make for a miserable week. An estimated 11 million American are exposed to poor Indoor Air Quality, such as allergens from home and work. Allergic reactions include rhinitis, contact dermatitis, breathing difficulties, asthma attacks, and anaphylactic shock. And in addition to these physiological reactions, allergies can cause unfavorable cognitive effects such as brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
1. Dust in the home or workplace is often prevalent in common areas. Dust comprises numerous tiny particles effortlessly floating through the air and settling on surfaces, such as dandruff and skin flakes, human and animal hair, grains, dirt, soil, sand, leaves and other plant parts, dust mites, bacteria, and fungi. When inhaled, they irritate breathing pathways and trigger allergic responses. Indoor dust comes from outdoors or is carried from place to place on our clothing. They often settle on carpeting, upholstered furniture, and air conditioning units.
2. Outdoor pollen can find its way indoors through windows and HVAC systems. It’s mainly a problem when HVAC systems suffer from inadequate filters or haven’t been replaced with old, ineffective filters. Pollen can also be introduced indoors by pollinating indoor plants. Breathing in pollen can trigger asthma attacks and allergy symptoms.
3. Mold can thrive indoors if the area is too humid or damp and can cause occupants to experience unfavorable symptoms. Spores from molds may be responsible for allergic responses and can trigger asthma attacks. Molds can also produce mycotoxins which can become aerosolized and spread through buildings. When an undetected building roof or pipe leaks, poor humidity, flooding, or water in a building’s foundation, mold can grow inside walls. While mold often stays inside the walls, it can move into the drywall and interior walls, making them more visible.
4. Owners can carry pet dander on clothing wherever they go, including work. Once in an environment, pet dander can easily be breathed in when it becomes airborne or land and stick to furniture and carpets. So make sure you bathe your pets regularly and keep your clothes clean and away from pets before heading to work.
5. Chemical allergens and allergic reactions are associated with skin irritation or contact dermatitis. However, airborne chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, formaldehyde, and toluene can cause some people adverse reactions and respiratory problems. Store cleaning products away from indoor workspaces is also a good idea.