Indoor Air Pollution
Marybeth Dunn, MPH
May 30, 2013
Americans spend the majority of our time indoors, whether it's in our home, school or office.
Yet indoor air is estimated to be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency lists poor indoor air quality as the fourth largest environmental threat to our country. It has been associated with a range of symptoms including headache, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Specific diseases such as Legionnaires' disease, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and humidifier fever have been directly traced to specific building-based problems. In addition, exposure to toxins such as asbestos and radon may not cause immediate symptoms but can lead to cancer years after exposure.
Other building-related concerns that can affect health include poor lighting, excessive noise and heating and cooling issues.
How is it that the buildings we spend the most time in -- raising our families, learning, earning a living -- can be the most toxic? What can we do about it, what sort of recourse do we have? Please read on, as the contributors to this month's Environmental Health Policy Institute aim to answer those questions.
School Children: The Forgotten Issue -- Preventing Exposures Boosts Achievement
Toxins in the Built Environment
Ellen Leroy-Reed, LEED AP BD+C
Home…Is Where the Pollution Is?
Healthy Air at Home
Brenda Olsen, RN
Healthy Homes and Health Reform
Margaret Reid, RN, BA and Lisa Conley, JD, MPH
Healthy Schools Spell Success
Lynn Ringenberg, MD
The views expressed in these essays are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Physicians for Social Responsibility.