Environmental Pollution can be Greater Indoors than Out.
I get calls from across the country, on a regular basis, from people who are concerned that their homes are making them sick. They usually believe that either mold or meth is the problem. Some symptoms include sick children, or adults, who can't sleep, are irritable, have respiratory problems, headaches, loss of appetite, loss of memory and are fatigued. The health problems are usually associated with moving into a new home. Your sensitivity to the substances in the air in your home lessens with time, according to Dr. Dave Tinkleman of National Jewish Hospital in Denver, CO.
Sick home syndrome has become more common as homes have become more air tight. It is likely to increase as we make our homes increasingly energy-efficient. The actual causes are diverse and can be complex. They can also be simple to correct if you can identify them. Some causes of sick homes include: off gassing of formaldehyde and other VOC's from furniture or building materials; mold; toxic gases from wood, gas and oil burning appliances; toxic gases rising from the ground; air pollution; bacteria, water pollution; meth; insects; rodents; birds; dogs; cats; chemicals associated with meth labs; electromagnetic fields; harsh lighting; poor ventilation; mental illness; and many more. Testing for many indoor pollutants has become easy and inexpensive. We offer a variety of these tests for your use. Examine your home for clues to determine if indoor air quality testing will benefit you. If you are experiencing health problems you suspect are caused by your home, these tests can provide tools to work with your physician to find solutions to allow you to live in a healthy environment.
Allergens - dust mites; cat and dog dander; cockroach feces, saliva and body parts; and mold sporesHealth Effects: Coughing, Sneezing, Runny nose, Nose, throat & eye irritation, wheezing, Shortness of breath, Waking in the night with these symptoms, Asthma attacks for people with asthma.
Bacteria - Bacteria are one of the main sources of indoor environment contaminants. It may cause severe health and hygiene problems to the building occupants.Health Effects (from emedtv.com): Bacteria can cause conditions such as scarlet fever, strep throat, gonorrhea, and bacterial meningitis. If you've ever had a bacterial infection, you've already witnessed how a certain type of bacteria can affect your health.
Carcinogenic Fibers - Asbestos has been known to cause cancer for many years, but fiberglass is a lesser known health threat. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), of the World Health Organization, listed fiber glass as a "probable carcinogen" in 1987.
Health Effects: Lung cancer
Formaldehyde - Formaldehyde is a common indoor air pollutant. Wood products and fabric coatings are listed as one of the main sources of formaldehyde.Health Effects: Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer in lab animals and is classified as a carcinogen. The long term effects of high level exposure to humans is not well known. Exposure to formaldehyde gas commonly causes eye nose and throat irritation, coughing, dizziness, headaches and nausea.
Staphylococcus - Staphylococci can cause a wide variety of diseases in humans and other animals through either toxin production or invasion.
Health Effects: MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of bacterial infection that usually affects the skin. Signs or symptoms of this "staph" infection can include a single red bump that resembles a pimple, pustule, or boil. Transmission occurs between individuals through direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with shared items or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection. Specific types of antibiotics are typically used to treat this type of infection.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) - Volatile organic compounds (VOC's) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOC's include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short-term and long-term adverse health effects.Health Effects: Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOC's include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.
Environmental Pollution Report
Environmental Pollution - Pollutants such as hazardous waste from industrial sites, solvents from dry cleaners and petroleum from leaking tanks can seep into soil and groundwater and cause unhealthy living conditions. Likewise, chemicals in the ground can travel through the soil as vapor, contaminating indoor air. There are three primary risks:
- Exposure to contamination via groundwater, surface water, soil, or vapors can compromise human health;
- Contaminated property is usually devalued; many studies show that properties near contaminated sites are often devalued as well; such properties can become stigmatized;
- Home buyers can be liable for a cleanup, even if they didn't cause — or know about — contamination, when it comes time to sell the home.
Indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air. Monitors can alert you when VOCs from chemical compounds, CO2, humidity, small particulates are high, Monitoring air can help identify the source of sick home/building.
Indoor Air Monitors
Indoor Air Monitors