Particles can become suspended in the air by abrasive action of surface winds, fires, wave action, and the fracture of crystalline aerosols. Spores, fibers, and seeds can cause natural biological pollution. Even these natural events can have an adverse effect on the climate and weather as well as agriculture and humans. When humans began building shelters for themselves they brought outdoor pollutants indoors with them. When an outdoor pollutant enters a building it becomes a source of indoor pollution. With the discovery of fire which was used for cooking and heat came smoke.
The coldness and dampness of shelters was the perfect place for mildew to grow. The first shelters also had dirt floors which allowed for diseases to be transmitted from pests, microorganisms, and pets. Since the times of dirt floors we have industrialized not only on a personal level with the construction of our homes, but also on a business level with the construction of our factories and office buildings. The increase in population has caused the increase in the use of fuels and agricultural and mineral resources. As a result of these increases air pollution has become a worldwide problem.
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In 1973 with the oil embargo came the rise of energy conserving practices and devices. This had a direct effect on the indoor air of the nation. Machines were made to run more efficiently and furnaces were designed to waste less heat. Insulation in houses and other buildings reduced ventilation and stopped drafts by tightening the homes and buildings. As a result indoor air pollution complaints increased because the pollutants were bottled up inside the buildings with no way of escaping. Not all indoor air pollution is a result of energy conservation practices.
The Department of Public Health fines atmospheric pollution as the ambient air space of one or more air contaminants in such quantities and of such duration as to cause a nuisance, be injurious or be potentially injurious to human or animal life, or to unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life and property. Human exposure to air pollution comes from pollutants that are remitted into the indoor environment from furnishings, structural components, and other products that society has developed. Contaminants from the outside can contribute to human exposure both directly and indirectly if they get inside a building.
Indoor sources of air pollutants can include invented combustion, evaporation of organic compounds, abrasion, release of microorganisms, and intrusion of radon. Everyday living environments and working environments have air polluting sources. People and pets can be the source of fibers, particles, organic vapors, and microbiological materials. Other indoor pollutants can come from heating and cooking combustion sources, emissions from tobacco, abrasion of surfaces, out easing of vapors, intrusion of soil gases, and an overabundance of biological sources.
Indoor environments are substantially more polluted than nearby outdoor air. A person who is exposed to high concentration of pollutants in an indoor setting may find that they feel discomfort, irritation, illness, and may even die as a result of the pollutant. This is known as sick building syndrome. Sick building syndrome has been known to be the cause of sensory irritation in eyes, nose and throat, neurotic or general health problem, skin irritation, nonspecific hypersensitive reactions, odor and taste sensations, headaches, nausea, and asthma.
A sick building is distinguished from a normal one when the majority Of the occupants are suffering from symptoms Of sick building yeomen. Sick building syndrome occurs when a building has insufficient ventilation or thermal control, inadequate maintenance of building systems, changes in thermal or contaminant loads, changes in building operation to meet new objectives such as energy conservation and inadequate design of a building for its intended use. Some other contributing factors may include physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial factors.
The United Nations Environment Programmer (UNEVEN) was established by the United Nations to watch the world environmental conditions. They are to alert governments around the world of impending ecological dangers. The governments are to then attempt to avoid these dangers by preventative measures. The LESSEN has pointed out to the government that pollution does not respect national boundaries and feels that the atmospheric degradation is causing the increase in illness and deaths among humans; the most susceptible are children and the elderly.
Pollutants are emitted into the air nationwide by both natural and manmade pollutants. Emissions from natural resources are caused by living and non-living sources, The emissions that are produced in an area lead to a trial background concentration which varies depending on the local source of the emissions and the prevailing weather condition. Research has discovered that in addition to the known air pollutants such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. These additional pollutants emitted are emitted into the air as a result of human activity.
Emissions from biomass and coal burning in homes are contributing significantly to outdoor air pollution. These indoor emissions are creating a visible haze which is affecting visibility and vegetation. Indoor IR pollution has effects on the outdoors as well. Emissions from burning biomass fuels have been discovered to be a major source of indoor air pollution especially in rural areas. It has been evident that urban and rural air pollution problems also lead to pollution on the regional and global scale. These areas are not separate from one another and solutions to the problems in one area may lead to new problems in another area.
Countries need to work together in order to reduce air pollution. Most liquid and solid fuels have impurities or additives to them. As these fuels burn they emit metals, sulfur oxides and particles. Some of these particles are visible in that they are partially burned carbon soot or minerals. A large majority of the particles are large and settle, thus contributing to settling. Carbon monoxide is one of the main indoor air pollutants; it is a colorless, odorless gas produces from wood, gasoline, and natural gas when incomplete combustion of these fuels occurs.
CO has been nicknamed the Silent Killer since it can go undetected due to the cloudlessness and adorableness. Exposure can occur from outdoor and indoor sources. Levels of exposure can range from subtle effects to acute poisoning. Many homes have gas angels, kerosene or gas space heathers, gas hot water heathers, and oil furnaces. Additional improper use of charcoal cookers, wood burning stoves, or fire places can also emit CO into the air. If these appliances are not properly installed they will emit CO into the air. There are several cause of carbon monoxide, some include: 1. Insufficient outdoor air for the effective control of contaminants generated in buildings 2. ) Migration of contaminants from one building zone or space to another. This is called cross contamination. 3. ) Re-entry of building exhausts 4. ) The intake of air contaminants generate outdoors . ) Generation of manmade mineral fibers from the disintegration of sound liners in air handling units 6. ) Microorganisms and organic dust contamination in condensate drip pans, humidifiers, filters, and porous thermal insulations 7. Inadequate air flows into building spaces due to system imbalances Inadequate outdoor air supply can be caused by the lack of outdoor air for ventilation purposes, the outdoor air capacity is inadequate for the buildings needs, an increase in the building occupancy than what it was designed for, malfunction of the system, a system which minimizes the outdoor air recirculation for energy conservation, and reduced air flow due to poor maintenance of filters, fans, and other components of the heating system. Gas and oil furnaces pollute air in homes when they do not function correctly.
Hemorrhaging properly the unit is supposed to provide heat each time the flame is turned on by the thermostat. The chimney is then supposed to remove the combustion gases as fast as they are generated. The flame operated on and Off causing the chimney to have time to cool Off each time the flame shuts off. A cold chimney has not draft when the fire comes on gain therefore it cannot draw the burnt gases out of the house through the chimney. If the chimney does not remove combustion gases then they smother the fire and produce carbon monoxide.
This occurs until the chimney gets hot enough again to release the gases. Asbestos is another form of indoor air pollution. Asbestos is several magnesium silicate minerals that are fibrous in structure and resistant to damage by fire. Asbestos has strong thermal and electric insulating properties and a resistance to chemical degradation. Examples of things made from asbestos include: pipe covering brake linings, plaster, and Herman and acoustic insulation. Additional asbestos is used in roofing and flooring products such as textiles and cement.
Asbestos has been found to circulate through the air conditioning system in a building. The asbestos is in the crawlspaces above offices where it was sprayed on structural beams and on the floors. The asbestos begins to crumble because of age and damage from construction; the asbestos dust is then carried by air delivery through the ventilation systems to the offices below. Another cause of indoor air pollution is cigarette smoking. Smoking in enclosed places increases the concentration Of particulate matter that is leased into the air, many of which are toxic.
Cigarette smoke emits particulates such as Benz-a-preen and nicotine which may be more toxic than the typical particulates found in the outside air. Tobacco produces a mixture of gases, vapors, and particulate matter when burned. Tobacco smoke is broken down into three categories: mainstream, side stream, and environmental tobacco smoke. Mainstream emissions are gases, vapors, and particles sucked from the mouth end off cigarette. Side stream smoke comes from the smoldering cigarette. Environmental smoke is the combination of exhaled mainstream smoke and side stream smoke.
The amount of environmental smoke that one is exposed to too as a nonsmoker depends on the degree of dilution of the smoke. The dilution depends on the ventilation in the room where the smoking is occurring and the direction of the air current. Studies have shown that in homes with smokers the homes have an increased level of nitrogen dioxide and benzene than homes where there are no smokers. Microbiological contaminants are from the pollen in trees, grasses, and other plants, which is the last type of indoor air pollutant that will be discusses. These commonly cause the allergies that humans have.
Microbiological contaminants of indoor air are also made up of microbial cells from viruses and bacteria as well as fungal spores, protozoan, algae, and animal dander. Contaminants can live as viable organisms and multiply in an infected host or be found in the dust, soil, water, oil, food, vegetative debris, or any area provides the right climate, temperature, humidity, and nutrients for its growth. Bathroom walls, window casements, and damp basements where water condenses are great places for bacteria to thrive and grow. Dust can be found in heating and air conditioning ducts which accumulated during the off season.
Dust can also be found in refrigerator coils and allows for growth of micro flora. Additionally the drainage area for heating, ventilation and air conditioning units provides an area for microbial growth. The indoor environment causes a greater risk to bacteria because of the enclosed areas which confine aerosols allowing them to grow and thrive into infectious doses. Ventilating systems indoors can pick up on these infectious doses and distribute them throughout a building. Some ventilation systems can become contaminated and transmit the microorganisms to the occupants in the building.
An airborne disease needs a reservoir also known s a source for the microorganism. The reservoir is a means for it to multiply and a means for distribution in order for it to be transmitted through the air. Reservoirs for an organism can be human, other vertebrates, soil, water, and. Human is the main reservoir for many diseases such as colds, influenza, measles, and chicken pox. An amplified enables a microorganism to, breed, multiply, and thrive. An amplifier allows an organism to multiply and produce an astronomical number to ensure airborne dilution. In many cases the amplifier for an organism is also its reservoir.
The microorganism must be reanimated into the air In numbers large enough to allow for infection to occur. Dissemination must occur for a disease to be produced. When only a small amount of an organism is required to cause infection the reservoir and the dissemination are the same. An example of this would be the measles. In order to cause infectious disease through respiratory tract exposure, aerosols have to be small enough to penetrate the respiratory tract but large enough to contain the infectious organisms in large enough numbers to constitute an infectious dose.
The survival of the airborne bacterium is dependent on the interactions between the structure and the environment being equal. All of the pollutants that have been discussed can all have various health effects on individuals. Personal exposure is defined as pollutant contact with an individual as he or she moves through various environmental settings, and it represented by the concentration at the boundary prior to ingestion, dermal uptake, or inhalation of that contaminant by the individual.
A pollutant is released at a source and then moves through an environment whereby it may be diluted and transformed by physical and chemical processes. Some of the pollutant comes in contact with people causing exposure. The body will absorb, ingest, or inhale the exposed pollutant which causes illness. Emissions coming from burning biomass fuels have become a major source of indoor air pollution with adverse health effects such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and moneychangers cancer. Infants are becoming ill with acute bronchitis and pneumonia because their respiratory defenses are becoming impaired by the pollutants.
The inhalation of carbon monoxide impairs oxygen transport and causes adverse effects in the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system. The severity of the health effectiveness with the level and duration of exposure. CO is the leading cause of death from poisoning. Many people can recover from CO poisoning, but a few develop neurological complication. The complications can range from headaches, memory loss, disorientation, and hallucinations. Once a person is diagnosed with CO poisoning they should be given 100% oxygen right away.
The purpose of this is to increase the dissolved oxygen in the plasma ad shorten the life of the CO. Asbestos exposure can cause asbestosis (fibrosis of the ling), pleural fusion and pleural plaques (fluid in the space around the lung and scarring of the pleura), Mesopotamia (cancer of the pleural sac lining the lung), cancer of the lung, and cancer of the larynx. Health studies have determined that people who work with asbestos have a higher risk of developing lung cancer, Mesopotamia, and certain types of gastrointestinal cancer.
Asbestos is irreversible and attaches itself to the lungs, thus disabling the lungs as a result of the retention of inhaled asbestos particles in the lung. Passive or involuntary smoking is when a nonsmoker inhales environmental tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke is made up Of gases and particles which contain myriad chemical species. When a person smokes indoors they increase the levels of resalable particles, nicotine, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and many other substances. Children who are exposed to cigarette smoke tend to have an increased occurrence of lower respiratory tract illnesses.
Children who do not have asthma have an increased chance of getting asthma from long term exposure to second hand smoke. In adults studies are being conducted with regard to the effects of second hand smoke on the respiratory system and illnesses, as well as lung function. Cigarette smoke causes numerous irritants. The particulate material and gases from cigarette smoke causes eye irritation and upper and lower airway irritations. Microorganisms that cause infectious disease transmission indoors are viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Fungi can cause infectious disease in plants and humans.
Some protozoa can attach themselves to a host and cause disease when their defenses are down due to drug use, illness, or other factors. There are respiratory pathogens that can survive in the air and are transported through the air. Some examples of this are influenza, measles, hickey pox, and the common cold. Infectious particles that are released indoors can remain airborne for a matter of seconds or sometimes for hours. The larger particles infect humans who are closest to the source since they tend to settle before traveling. The smaller particles can infect humans some distance away.
Airborne viruses and bacteria can cause illnesses such as influenza and pneumonia. Some illnesses are also spread by contact with sick people but airborne infection can be the dominant mode of transfer depending on the particular organism. Airborne viruses are the main cause f acute respiratory illness in the unites States. The illnesses that affect humans cause millions of lost days from work and billions of dollars in lost production every year. There are ways that these pollutants can be reduced or eliminated from the air that we breather.
With each pollutant there are effective solutions that can be applied in order to help this problem. Inside air pollutants cause by outside air pollutants can be reduced by eliminating air exchange, sealing the building, and by using filters. If a ventilation system is effective, the contaminants have to go through many processes on their way into a building which reduces the amount of pollution allowed to get into the building. Acceptable air quality indoors is achieved with the appropriate balance of temperature, relative humidity, odors, and air flow.
Unfortunately there is no universal definition of acceptable air pollution. The reason there is not a universal definition is due to the diversity of sources and indoor environments. There are things that can be done in order to control the sources of indoor air pollution. Some of these things include: 1 . )measures that prevent the use of various contaminate-emitting materials (furnishings, equipments, etc. , in the building environment) 2. ) elements of building design and maintenance that prevent or minimize air contamination 3. The treatment or modification of sources directly or indirectly in order to reduce emissions 4. ) physical removal of the source or source materials and replacement with materials or equipment with no or minimal emissions 5. ) measures that prevent the amplification of biological contaminants in the indoor air 6. ) removal of particulate dusts from surfaces The goal is to achieve the appropriate balance between cost, health, comfort, and productivity. The best solution to preventing carbon monoxide is to get your unit cleaned regularly.
If the system is checked to see that it is working in a regular basis then there should be no problems. There is also a carbon monoxide detector that can be purchased for your protection. Source control is the most effective way to deal with carbon monoxide. If you are in a building that contains asbestos you have the option to cover it and it will be undisturbed if the material is in good condition. Any asbestos that is not in good condition should be completely removed. New buildings are using fiberglass insulation in place of asbestos.
Fiberglass can cause irritation if it is inhaled but there has been no evidence that it will cause the adverse health effects that asbestos does. Concerning smoking there is a certain level of ventilation is require for indoor air quality. The ventilation is needed not only for the smoke but for the tar as well. Tar absorbs into walls, fabrics, and wallpaper; it emits an odor which pollutes the air (a separate ventilation system is needed for the tar). The best solution is a combination of particulate air cleaning and vial cleaning through absorption on activated carbon or through chemise on oxidant-impregnated alumina can.
This solution would control b irritation and odor to some degree, but the standards for assessing efficiency of vapor phase filtration have not yet been developed. An simple solution would be to not allow smoking inside. In an office SST allowing smoking and encouraging individuals to quit can decrease absenteeism, medical care costs, lost production time, and disability The control of moisture in a building is a way to prevent conditions allow for bacteria growth (microbiological).
Infection caused by airbag organisms can be prevented by removing the organisms from the environment or by controlling the host factor by minimizing the roper ventilation but also be present; ventilation systems are extra important in work places and school where there are lot of hosts in Dilution of the air with clean air ventilation and the removal of the o by filtration are the best ways to prevent infections.
The ventilation needs to interrupt the reservoir, amplifier, dissemination sequence TFH airborne organisms go through. If this sequence is interrupted then growth of the organism is prevented. Currently there is no regulation for indoor air quality which can be by natural sources, poor building design, structural components, an. Occupant activities. In Pennsylvania there is a statue entitled Clean I which can be found at 35 P. S. Section 1230. 1; it addresses indoor sin- a pollutant.