The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that indoor air is anywhere from 2 to 10 times more hazardous than outdoor air. With people spending an average of 90% of their time inside, indoor air pollution can pose a serious health risk. “Indoor air quality is the number one environmental health problem in the United States”, according to the EPA.
The American College of Allergies states that 50% of all illness is aggravated or caused by polluted indoor air.
A recent study found that the allergen level in super-insulated homes is 200% higher than it is in ordinary homes.
According to Scientific America, a baby crawling on the floor inhales the equivalent of 4 cigarettes a day, as a result of the out-gassing of carpets, molds, mildews, fungi, dust mites, etc.
The EPA informs us that 6 out of 10 homes and buildings are "sick", meaning they are hazardous to your health to occupy as a result of airborne pollutants.
Today's homes and buildings are built air-tight, with energy-efficiency in mind, as a result of the energy crisis of the 1970s. Their air-tight construction keep airborne pollutants trapped inside, and nature's air cleansing agents outside. Is it any wonder that statistics for asthma problems began rising sharply around the same time that homes and buildings began to be built this way?
Contributing to indoor air quality issues in buildings are water intrusion and leaks leading to microbial contamination (i.e. mold and bacteria), reduced ventilation rates to save energy resulting in increased relative humidity and leading to elevations in gasses such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, the use and off gassing of synthetic building materials and furnishings, and increased use of a variety of chemical products such as housekeeping supplies, personal care products and various other conditions contribute additionally.
Virtually everyone is affected, especially asthmatics and others who are particularly sensitive to allergens and contaminates in the air.
Keep in mind that no home or building is immune to the indoor air quality epidemic.
Even the EPA’s very own headquarters, constructed a few years ago, was determined to be "sick". Many EPA employees could not work inside the building without becoming sick. If the headquarters of the EPA can fall victim to the indoor air quality epidemic, the very government agency that is charged with finding solutions to this problem, then any home or building can be afflicted.
In fact, every home and building is affected by the indoor air quality epidemic to one degree or another, regardless of how clean it may appear. Every home is filled with prime sources that contribute to mass quantities of airborne allergens and contaminates.
For instance, if your home looks really clean, you should ask yourself how it became that way. Did you use aerosols, floor and/or furniture polish, bleach, ammonia, bathroom cleaners, etc.? If so, these products emit harmful chemical vapors into the air.
Most homes or buildings also have carpet, painted walls, chemically-treated furnishings, dust, insects, moist or damp things, food and people! Yes, humans shed more than just about any other animal, but our skin flakes are small enough to float in the air, and are consequently inhaled by anyone who enters a room.
As a graphic example, about 80% of what you see floating in a ray of sunshine entering your home through a window is dead human skin!
This is not to mention other sources of airborne pollutants that we may bring indoors, such as cigarette smoke and pets. Even if you eliminate or prohibit a certain source of indoor air pollution from your home, such as pets, you may still be affected.
A recent study conducted in Philadelphia tested a random sample of homes for the number one allergy trigger: cat dander. Out of all the homes tested, 100% were found to contain cat dander, despite the fact that many of these homes did not have a cat.