Indoor air exposure: Environmental issue worthy of concern due to its impacts

Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, October 2018, Volume 1, #28

We, as human, spend most of our time in an indoor environment. We cannot do without breathing. Our activities in indoor environment consistently contribute to the pollution of the indoor air. Pollutants, mostly caused by human actions, which exist in our outdoor environment find their ways into our indoor environment. The mortality (death) and morbidity (diseases) rates due to human exposure to the chemical, biological and particulate pollutants in the indoor environment are significantly increasing. Exposure to these pollutants is diminishing building occupants’ performance and productivity, and economic gains.

Despite all these, indoor air exposure is not considered as one of the main environmental issues worthy of concern. In fact, most building occupants, policymakers, and even built environment professionals have very little or no knowledge of indoor air quality (IAQ). Building regulations and even green building ratings in many countries do not give preference to IAQ. As a result, building owners, designers, contractors, facility managers, and other built environmental professionals do not see IAQ as a priority, if considered at all.

The attitude towards IAQ needs to change in order to curtail the significant rise in mortality and morbidity rates caused by poor IAQ. The economic gains of healthy indoor air exposure warrant the need to change the attitude. What does it take to change the attitude?

28_Environmental issue_IAC 28

Do you want to know more about this topic? Read Sundell (2004) for more details.

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