Recently Paris started enforcing new commuting rules in an effort to reduce smog in the City of Light. Key cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, have suffered from poor air quality for some time and now their largest travel agency is offering tourists smog insurance, according to The Guardian.
Many of us are aware that outdoor air quality, especially near major cities, may be less than ideal, but what about indoor air quality? Author Russell McLendon states in 7 Reasons to Consider Indoor Air-Quality Testing, “While we tend to think of air pollution as an outdoor threat, it can be even worse inside the buildings where we live and work.”
Sick building syndrome, as defined by the EPA, can create health and comfort symptoms in occupants and may be the result of inadequate ventilation and/or chemical or biological contaminants. The agency recommends an indoor air quality investigation. Air sampling of basic measurements (such as temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, and air movement) offers an indication of air quality conditions within a facility.
Indoor environmental quality monitors display current conditions and operate as handheld units, fasten to a wall, or stand upright for both portable and stationery use. Specific indoor air quality meters can measure carbon dioxide levels in labs, HVAC systems, food and beverage storage areas, and industrial hygiene settings. Some meters check multiple parameters such as temperature, humidity, dew point, carbon dioxide, and wet bulb, and can be found in greenhouses, office buildings, laboratories, and more.
Humidity meters or thermohygrometers typically measure temperature and humidity and are used to assess conditions in saunas, incubators, museums, industrial areas, and to check ambient air.
Indoor air quality can be compromised by mold and moisture, smoke, radon, asbestos, and other contaminants, include some household cleaning supplies. The EPA states that high temperature and humidity levels can increase the concentrations of some pollutants.
In addition to testing your indoor air quality, check out the EPA’s portfolio of publications on indoor air quality.