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Indoor Air Quality and Respiratory Ailments
Asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments are serious problems affecting people of all ages. Considering that people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors (65 percent in their homes), it’s no surprise that many researchers are studying the effects of indoor air on these ailments.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found the levels of common organic pollutants to be two to five times higher inside homes than outside, whether they were located in rural or highly industrialized areas. When products containing organic chemicals are used, people expose themselves and their families to very high pollutant levels, which can linger long after the activity is over. Elements contained in indoor air can trigger asthma and allergy attacks as well as aggravate other respiratory conditions.
The American Lung Association has estimated that in 2004, approximately 20.5 million Americans suffered from asthma. Asthma is the most common chronic disorder in childhood, currently affecting the lives of an estimated 6.2 million children under 18 years.
In its educational literature, the American Lung Association stresses that ventilation is an important strategy for helping to alleviate the symptoms of asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments. Along with incorporating proper ventilation strategies in the home, the association also recommends controlling trigger sources and cleaning the air.