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Suffolk Community College

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Indoor Air Quality

Lately,  indoor air quality has become the subject of much debate. From moldy ceiling tiles to inadequate ventilation systems, it seems that every building has its share of problems, including our own homes. Unfortunately, the sources of pollutants that may contaminate our air are just as varied as the pollutants themselves.

At home or in the office, sources such as oil, kerosene, or even household cleaners can contribute to the indoor air quality depending on the levels at which they exist in the air and also our own sensitivity to the pollutants. This is why adequate ventilation is the key to air quality. If too little fresh air is introduced into a house or business office, pollutants can build up. Eventually, some pollutants that may have been unnoticeable can build up to levels that may begin to have adverse effects on our health.

So, what kind of effects can indoor air pollution have on our health?

Unfortunately, the immediate effects of indoor air pollution are greatly determined by the type of pollutant, the amount of exposure, and the sensitivity of the individual to that pollutant. However, the most common immediate effects of indoor air pollution are eye irritation, sore throat,  headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These effects are usually short term and only occur when in the presence of the pollutant. However, due to the similarity between these symptoms and the symptoms of a common cold, it is often hard to determine that the symptoms are due to exposure from indoor air pollutants.

For this reason it absolutely crucial to take note of the times and places at which the symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade once we leave work, then effort must be taken to identify the source on the job.

Faculty Association - Suffolk Community College - Southampton Building 224J 533 College Rd - Selden, NY 11784-2899
Phone (631) 451-4151 - Fax (631) 732-4584 - Email info@fascc.org
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