Indoor Air Quality is an issue that is of high importance to the medical community for many reasons. With advances in construction techniques and materials, homes and buildings are being built tighter and more energy efficient than in times past. In the old days, houses and buildings were drafty and the air inside actually exchanged with the air outside on a regular basis. Despite the fact that this was a source of lost energy, it did, in fact have an advantage in that the air on average was cleaner and more fresh than it is in homes today.
Without fresh air entering a home or building on a consistent basis, many infectious and polluting agents can build up to greater than naturally occurring levels. When this happens both your immune system and your liver have to begin working overtime to keep up with remediation efforts.
There are many sources for infectious agents to enter or develop in your home. For example, a sneeze is a great way to spread most strains of viruses through out the entire house. One sneeze uncovered can enter the ductwork of your house and literally be pumped into every room in a matter of minutes. Additionally, potentially toxic substances such as mold spores can grow and be released into the air if left unchecked. All of these things are removed if the air in the home or building are replaced with fresh air.
Pollutants from construction materials should also be considered. Due to international commerce, many construction materials are now being shipped in from overseas. One such example of this is from formaldehyde, an extremely toxic substance found in drywall recently imported. Other materials such as shower caulk may contain chemicals such as acetaldehyde and others that claim to be non-toxic may contain mineral spirits which still contain toxic aromatics such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, o-xylene, m-xylene, p-xylene and others. All of these are toxic and are released into the air as they dry.
Chemicals like this are no longer removed by the natural draft as houses and buildings have been tightened, and this can lead to chronic respiratory problems. Now, the only way to remove them is to remove them with an air purifier. An air purifier that is capable of reducing infectious and polluting agents such as these would require several stages such as a charcoal and HEPA filter as well as UV treatment in some cases.