According to the study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, pollution indoors can be worse than outdoors. Fungal spores, smoke, and chemicals from by-products are discovered to have harmful effects on human’s health.
“Pollution has several sources,” said Prashant Kumar, a study co-author of the University of Surrey. “They could have negative effects on the air quality, and many of them are found inside homes and offices. From fungal spores and varnishes to paints and cooking residues, the air you breathe in your living or working space can be dirtier than outdoor air.”
Poor IAQ Killed Millions of People Worldwide
People living in cities spend nearly 90% of their time indoors and possibly breathe in air pollutants that circulate in the surface. While some airborne contaminants do not cause much harm to health, others are extremely deadly. Many of them have caused accidental death to a significant number of people worldwide.
The World Health Organization said that cooking indoors using biomass-burning stoves or coal killed up to 4.3 million people in 2012. This figure is much higher compared to 3.7 million deaths caused by outdoor air pollution recorded in the same year. This makes indoor pollutant one of the alarming health threats for humans nowadays.
There is also a phenomenon called “sick-building syndrome,” a condition that causes symptoms of sickness to people who spend most of their time on a polluted building.
Environmental Sensors for IAQ Monitoring
Communities, of course, can do some precautionary measures to prevent this problem from happening.
Scientists from Europe and Australia are calling for more significant efforts to monitor indoor pollutants in real-time. In their study, they have noted that environmental sensors can be used to address the problem. Besides bringing positive health effects, these devices are relatively cost-effective, efficient, and easy to install in any building.
Researchers said that deployment of sensors could provide critical data about the quality of the air in the surface. However, they have acknowledged some technical challenges using sensors: it might not be sensitive enough to detect low chemical concentrations, and there are a few questions about its capability to handle a substantial amount of collected data.
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