Why Be Concerned About Your Indoor Air Quality? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Why Be Concerned About Your Indoor Air Quality?

We spend over 90% of our day INDOORS!

The Environmental Protectio Agency (EPA) has determied that the air indoors is 5 - 10 times more harmful than outdoor levels.

In 1973 expectations about energy changed dramatically causing the supply to dwindle while the price for energy skyrocketed.  One spin off, however, was the way buildings were bueing built.  No longer was it acceptable to tolerate the outdoor air to "freshen" up the indoor environment as was the acceptable standard of the early 1900's.  We were in a sense being shielded from the outdoor air as if we were living in a plastic food storage bag complete with a twist tie.

A heightened awareness of conserving our precious energy resources was about to become a world-wide concern.

Construction methods began to emphasize insulation and climate controls which increased air tightness in buildings.  The result was a new phenomenon called "Sick-Building Syndrome."  TIME Magazine reported this condition in its December, 1998 article entitled "This Place Makes Me Sick."  It described Sick Building Syndrome as "a disease of modern architecture, where sealed, energy conserving buildings recycle contaminated air."

Inadequate ventilation, chemical contaminants from indoor and outdoor sources, and biological contaminants such as molds, bacteria, pollens and viruses contribute to this problem.  Once growth has occurred, harmful organisms can be spread by improperly designed and/or maintained ventilation systems and bad maintenance practices.

The extent of Sick-Building Syndrome and the degree to which offices or homes are affected can be difficult to pin down.  Doctors haven't determined  what concentration of pollutants are necessary to cause illness, or exactly how they make people sick.  Symptoms such as headaches, weariness, nausea, malaise, sneezing, wheezing and rashes may be brought on by chemicals in cleaning supplies, insecticides, and even high concentrations of molds & bacteria caused by standing water or they could simply be signs of flue, allergies or depression.

Don't Stop Breathing, but take control of the air you breathe!

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