indoor air pollution

indoor air pollution

Recall that air pollution is due to chemical substances and particles released into the air mainly by human actions. When most people think of air pollution, they think of the pollution outdoors. But it is just as easy to have indoor air pollution. Your home or school classroom probably doesnt get much fresh air. Sealing up your home reduces heating and cooling costs. But this also causes air pollution to stay trapped indoors. And people today usually spend a majority of their time indoors. So exposure to indoor air pollution can become a significant health risk. Indoor air pollutants include both chemical and biological pollutants. Chemical pollutants include the following: Radon, a radioactive gas released from the Earth in certain locations. It can become trapped inside buildings and increase your risk of cancer. Formaldehyde, a toxic gas emitted from building materials, such as carpeting and plywood. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are given off by paint and solvents as they dry. They can cause cause long-term health effects. Secondhand smoke, which comes from breathing the smoke release from tobacco products. Secondhand smoke is also the smoke exhaled by a cigarette smoker. This smoke is extremely dangerous to human health. Carbon monoxide (CO), a toxic gas released by burning fossil fuels. It is often released indoors by faulty chimneys, gas-powered generators, or burning charcoal; it can be extremely dangerous. Dry cleaning fluids, such as tetrachloroethylene, which can be released from clothing days after dry cleaning. The past use of asbestos in factories and in homes. Asbestos is a very dangerous material, and it was used in many buildings ( Figure 1.1). Asbestos can cause cancer and other lung diseases. The use of asbestos is not allowed today. The use of asbestos in industry and do- mestic environments in the past, as in the asbestos-covered pipes in the oil-refining plant pictured here, has left a potentially very dangerous material in many busi- nesses. Biological sources of air pollution are also found indoors. These are produced from: Pet dander. Dust from tiny skin flakes and decomposed hair. Dust mites. Mold from walls, ceilings, and other structures. Air conditioning systems that can incubate certain bacteria and mold. Pollen, dust, and mold from houseplants, soil, and surrounding gardens.

textbook_image

limiting exposure

Can you avoid indoor air pollution? You cant go to school outside. But it is possible to reduce your exposure to air pollution. Some tips to decrease your exposure to indoor air pollution include: Using less toxic chemicals when possible. Limiting your exposure to pesticides and cleaning fluids by keeping them in a garage or shed. When using toxic chemicals, allowing fresh air to circulate through open windows and doors. Having detectors for radon and carbon monoxide in your home. What else could you do to reduce your exposure to air pollution?

instructional diagrams

No diagram descriptions associated with this lesson

questions

sealing up your home keeps air pollution out.

a. true

-->  b. false

secondhand smoke can cause severe health issues.

-->  a. true

b. false

which of the following is a biological source of indoor air pollution?

a) decomposed hair

b) pollen

c) mold

-->  d) all of the above

which of the following is a radioactive gas released from the earth?

a) carbon monoxide

b) vocs

-->  c) radon

d) formaldehyde

which of the following is extremely dangerous to your health?

a) asbestos

b) carbon monoxide

c) secondhand smoke

-->  d) all of the above

which of the following is a toxic gas released by burning fossil fuels?

a) radon

b) volatile organic compounds

-->  c) carbon monoxide

d) asbestos

to limit your exposure to indoor air pollution, you should

a) have secondhand smoke detectors in your home.

-->  b) limit your exposure to pesticides and cleaning fluids.

c) only use toxic substances outside.

d) all of the above

diagram questions

No diagram questions associated with this lesson