Indoor air quality

From Academic Kids

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) deals with the health and comfort of the air inside buildings. The IAQ may be compromised by microbial contaminants (mold, bacteria), chemicals, allergens, or any mass or energy stressor that can affect the heath of people or animals. Often the perception is that outdoor air is polluted, but indoor air is acceptable. Many studies and experience show that this isn't always the case.

The topic of IAQ has become popular due to the greater awareness of health problems caused by mold and triggers to asthma and allergies. Awareness has also been increased by the involvement of the Environmental Protection Agency. They have developed an "IAQ Tools for Schools" program to help improve the indoor environmental conditions in educational institutions (see external link below).

The problems stemming from poor indoor air quality has created an industry of consultants specializing in diagnosing, remediating and preventing IAQ complaints. Professionals are often trained or certified by organizations such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Indoor Air Quality Council, Indoor Environmental Institute, Indoor Air Quality Association, and the Indoor Environmental Standards Organization. These consultants perform an IAQ property assessment that may include taking measurements and samples of the air or surfaces inside the building. Instrumentation should be calibrated and samples should be sent to an independent, accredited laboratry. AIHA and A2LA both offer laboratory accreditation programs that relate to indoor air quality.

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