- Dust (PM2.5) - can be measured by an Air Quality Monitor as elaborated below
- Smoke - visible to us
- Pollen - can be felt in certain seasons
- Pet Dander - very common among Pet lovers
Let us first understand what is PM2.5 and how are they formed?
Most vehicle emission and Industrial fumes are gases that solidify and thereby create tiny micro particles which float in the lower atmosphere. These particles are nearly 1/80th of human hair or beach sand. Hence they are invisible which find their way easily through our respiratory tract. The permissible limit for the PM2.5 Indoor is 10μg/m3, however measurements in so called clean spaces in various cities give horrifying facts that are nearly 20 to 30 times the permissible limit. In fact WHO published a detailed report in 2014 where 13 of the 20 most polluted cities were in India where the level of PM2.5 is not fit to breathe.
What makes dust so dangerous is that as we walk, all of these unsavory particles are circulated into the air for us to breathe in.
We use highest standards of Air Quality Monitor to check the level of PM2.5 in any living spaces.
- Smelly substances
- VOC (Volatile organic compound)
- Toxic Gases
What makes these home-based toxins so dangerous is that often we can't tell they're there until it's too late and we're already sick. So, they can be broadly identified as gases - some of them can be felt by us through our senses (example toilet smell, swollen walls, garbage, perfumes, candles etc) but most of the gases that are found Indoor cannot be felt (odorless gases like Carbon Monoxide - also known as silent killer, Radon or what most plastics or construction material emit etc). The gases top the chart for causes of home based diseases like Allergic reaction, whooping cough, throat infection or even asthma.
VOC or Volatile Organic Compounds are a variety of gases that pose huge health issues among humans as well as pets are anticipated as carcinogens by several health authorities. Still we remain ignorant with the fact that most household cleaning agents, perfumes, candles or plastics emit them and we are living with it.
There are no single instrument to measure the entire spectrum of toxic gases & VOC. Each of the gases have separate permissible limits for Indoor living spaces. We use gas detection tubes and/or VOC Monitors depending on the presence of any specific gases. Please get in touch with our Air Quality Specialist for more details on how to identify them and to know about elimination methods.
- Static Charge
Very common problem, again that we ignore very easily. There are quite simple methods to check for the vulnerability and presence of static charge in our living space. When we take off our sweater during winter, it gives out a crackling noise, it is static charge! Ever realized that when we pass through our curtains or furnishings our hair get raised? Why does dust stick on to television screens even after cleaning it?
Why do our children wake up sneezing or coughing? While we sleep, our hair rubs with the pillow that generate maximum amount of static charge. The same thing happens with our bed linen, cushions or blanket. We keep breathing those pollutants that get attracted and come closer to us. As a result we wake up with a sore throat or morning allergy. Several research shows that Static Charge can create problems for small children and people with pacemaker.
Air Conditioned spaces, combined with heavy furnishings and carpets are root cause of static charge Indoor. For Server Rooms or Workshops where static charge can create havoc, there are devices which can check the levels of static charge in a space, however the easy and simple way is to check physically.
- Dust Mites
This category are mainly on Infection causing substances or microbes that are again invisible and very common in our Indoor living spaces. Let us now understand each of these categories and how we can identify them in our Indoor.
Fungi - Particularly found in dark areas and where clothes are stored. They are mainly surface adhering, but in dry seasons can also be found in the air. When we take our woolens from the storage, we find a peculiar smell, once sun dried, the smell disappears, this is fungi
Viruses - They are quite contagious and are spread mainly through exhalation from humans and pets. Cross infection is the biggest threat in environments that have poor ventilation and lack of sunlight.
Molds - 30 percent to 50 percent of all structures have damp conditions that could encourage the growth and spread of biological pollutants like mold. And that's just for average climates; in warm, moist climates, this percentage is likely much higher. When mold grows on our walls, carpets or other materials, a large portion of it are transferred to the indoor air we breathe.
Dust mites - Lack of sunlight, dry areas create these mites, Mice and other pests can be very illusive, so you may not even know they're in your home. The droppings are dust mite faeces that are very light and then convert into PM1 particles.
The Microbiology Department in most Hospitals use advanced Microbe sensor and pathogen tester to check the bacterial load for Hospital Acquired Infections etc, and they cannot be checked at individual capacity, but we can very well say that dark, humid areas or hidden spaces will definitely give rise to such microbes in our Indoor living spaces.
- Staleness (recycling of Air)
Probably this is the most easy thing to check and that we all will agree that we face this situation everyday in our day to day life. Let us take an example. You come home after a holiday, what is the first thing that we do after we enter our home? You guessed it right, we open all doors and windows!!! This action happens to us almost instantly as our body immediately reacts to that situation and asks our brain to ventilate.
If we analyse this action, we will see that when we close our doors and windows, the nourishment or charged particles in the air get destroyed, thus it become stale and stuffy. We immediately identify the situation and ventilate. Thus allowing a better quality of air to replace the stale air Indoor. If in the same situation, we start the air conditioner, we are actually getting used to the situation, but the air is not getting diluted. This is also known as a major cause of Sick Building Syndrome.