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Facts About Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality - What You Should Know

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Other Interesting Facts Related to Indoor Air Quality

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Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution in your Home or Building

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Based on studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), billions of dollars are spent annually for medication to help Americans breathe or cure their respiratory illnesses. Eleven million Americans have asthma. Twenty-eight million have hay fever and other allergies. Physicians are now discovering that the solution to the problems of many of these people is not in medicine but in reducing the pollutants in the air they breathe.

Every year at least 6,000 new chemical compounds are developed. Many are used indoors every day, at home and at work.Add to these pollutants the mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses, tobacco smoke, grease, pollen, dirt, asbestos, lead and numerous other contaminants that can affect our breathing and our health. Then allow them to circulate in today's nearly airtight indoor environment. No wonder our indoor air is, on average, two to ten times as polluted as the worst outdoor air.

Viruses and bacteria that thrive in the ducts, coils, and recesses of building ventilation systems have been proven to cause ailments ranging from influenza to tuberculosis. Some HVAC systems have been found to contain up to 27 species of fungi.

Based on information given at the First Annual Air Quality convention sponsored by EPA, April 1992, Tampa, Florida:

 ?  40% of all buildings pose a serious health hazard due to indoor air pollution, according to the World Health Organization.

 ?  EPA estimates an 18% annual production loss to American business due to poor indoor air quality.

 ? 20% of all employees have a major illness related to indoor air pollution such as allergies, asthma, auto-immune diseases, etc.

 ?  EPA says high levels of formaldehyde cause cancer

 ? Scientists now recognize that pollutants, even at acceptable concentration, combined together in an indoor environment have a synergistic negative effect.

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Negative Ions and Health

    Ionization or negative ion generation is often referred to as the "thunderstorm effect". It is well known that prior to a thunderstorm, animals and even many humans feel nervous, jittery and irritable; however, after the storm there seems to be a feeling of calm. Both animals and humans experience this phenomena. Most people can not explain this renewed sense of well-being. However, there is a logical explanation. All of this is due to the amount of negative ions in the air around us.  Prior to a thunderstorm there is a very high concentration of positive ions in the air. These tend to be pollutants such as dust, bacteria, pollen, chemicals, etc. The storm releases electrical discharges consisting of high concentrations of negative ions. Negative ions destroy many of these air pollutants and, therefore, give us a sense of well being. When relatively too many positive ions are present in the air before a storm, the positive charge is transferred in the air you breathe from your lungs to the blood, causing the blood platelets to release a hormone that quite strongly affects your moods, your joints, and other physiological functions in your body.

    Ions are floating in the air around us all the time and have either negative or positive charges on them. Changes in their concentration, or in the ratio of positively to negatively charged molecules can have remarkable effects on plants and animals. It is known in science that ion depletion is the source of a wide range of human health problems, both mental and physical. Air ions are important to you because if there are a high proportion of negative ions you will feel lively, uplifted, and enthusiastic. Too many positive ions will have you feeling depressed, lethargic and full of aches, pains and complaints. In general, exposure to negatively ionized air has been shown to increase oxygenation of the lungs, vital capacity, and ciliary activity. All types of beneficial responses take place as a result of these friendly ions. 

    Fortunately through modern technology it is possible to control the electrical state of our indoor environments by generating negative ions back in the air. These negative ions attach themselves to airborne toxins and drop them to a surface. Ions basically take out the larger pollutants in the air. For example, ozone will take the smell of smoke out of the room and neutralize the chemicals, but will not remove the smoke itself. Negative ions take the smoke out.

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