Studies

Indoor Air Quality Studies

Filtration           Humidity Control               Ventilation                Asthma             Lead & Asbestos                  References

Petition       Indoor Air Quality: Affecting your Health from Cradle to Grave

 

Inadequate Ventilation in the Indoor Environment

 

20 studies, experts, and professionals have dictated that adequate ventilation above current ASHRAE standards successfully dilutes and rids of any volatile indoor pollutants within the home or workplace. Adequate ventilation is primarily responsible for decreasing the concentration of VOCs indoors. 27 studies have shown that exposure to high concentrations of VOCs has adverse health effects. Several studies have also shown that with increased ventilation comes increased worker productivity and student performance.

References: 14, 22, 23, 33, 39, 46, 52, 57, 59, 73, 74, 87, 102, 107, 112, 117, 118, 119, 122, 128, 149, 152, 155, 167, 170, 198, 206, 223, 230, 246-249, 252

 

Adverse Health Effects from VOC Exposure
RespiratoryOtherNeurological
Irritation in eyes, nose, and throatCancerDizziness
Chest tightnessHypersensitivityMemory Impairment
WheezingHeadachesLightheadedness
Asthma exacerbationSkin irritation
Asthma InductionNausea
PneumonitisFatigue
Allergic RhinitisBirth defects
Lower airway inflammationImpaired learning or decision-

making skills

Pulmonary Infection 

Liver toxicity

Bronchial obstruction

Fast Facts:

  • The concentration of VOCs indoors is significantly higher than the concentration outdoors.
  • Common indoor pollutant sources of VOCs include combustion sources such as a gas stoves or fireplaces, candles, or incense, as well as pressed wood products, gypsum board, carpet, and more.
  • The World Health Organization has deemed air pollution as the biggest environmental killer, killing 7 million people each year. We spend 90% of our time indoors.
  • Increased ventilation in schools and workplaces has been proven to increase productivity and cognitive skills in reading, writing, and math. It has also led to decreased absenteeism and increased worker health. This has significant economic benefits.
  • Many VOCs are known to be human carcinogens, such as benzene and formaldehyde.
  • Several studies have linked different VOCs (i.e. formaldehyde and aromatic compounds) to the diagnosis of asthma and other chronic and acute respiratory conditions.
  • The increase of ventilation rate has minimal energy consumption impact or cost. The environmental impact is also minimal when using an energy recovery system.
  • The best control method for levels of bioaerosols and other VOCs is through the HVAC system.
  • Experts have confirmed that several COVID-19 outbreaks in public spaces have been due to inadequate ventilation.

 

Inadequate Filtration in the Indoor Environment

 

13 studies, experts, and professionals have confirmed the effectiveness of using high-efficiency filters (MERV 10+) in the indoor environment to filter out harmful pollutants such as particulate matter and secondhand smoke. 36 studies have found significant or suggestive links between high concentrations of particulate matter and smoke to the increased burden of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory conditions, and other adverse health effects.
References: 2, 9, 15, 31, 39, 44, 45, 53, 55, 68, 71, 77, 80, 85, 91, 96, 113, 115, 118, 122, 128, 135, 148, 156, 159, 163, 170, 173, 185, 189, 190, 212, 215, 229, 230, 237, 249, 251, 257, 258, 259

Adverse Health Effects from Particulate Matter Exposure

Respiratory

Cardiovascular

Other

Asthma Exacerbation

Coughing

Heart attacks

Premature death

Decreased lung function

Wheezing

Dysrhythmia mortality

Cognitive decline

Difficulty breathing

Chest tightness

Heart failure mortality

Reproductive toxicity

Pneumonia

Acute lower respiratory disease

Cardiac arrest mortality

Immune dysfunction

COPD

Allergy exacerbation

Ischemic Heart Disease Mortality

Endocrine disruption

Bronchitis and bronchiolitis

Lung cancer

Stroke

Insulin resistance, Type 2 Diabetes

Fast Facts:

  • Particulate Matter comes in different sizes, ranging from 2.5 microns to 10 microns. PM2.5 is the most damaging to human health.
  • Homes often exceed the national PM2.5 and PM10 limit for outdoor air.
  • Children are more vulnerable to PM due to their faster respiration rates and small lungs.
  • Particulate Matter exposure accounts for 10-30% of the total burden of disease in the US.
  • There is an 8-18% increase in mortality rate per 10ug/m3 increase in PM2.5.
  • There is a 13% increased risk of cardiovascular disease with each 5ug/m3 increase in PM2.5.
  • Increased particulate matter levels leads to increased ER visits and/or hospitalizations.
  • Particulate matter is a significant trigger for asthma attacks and secondhand smoke is significantly associated with the development of asthma in children.
  • Secondhand smoke is a significant health and economic burden on the US.
  • High efficiency filters effectively filter out particulate, secondhand smoke, pet allergens, mold spores, small microbials, and more.
  • A decrease in allergy/asthma symptoms has been observed when using a MERV 10+ filter.

 

Inadequate Humidity Control in the Indoor Environment

 

30 studies, experts, professionals, and countless others have confirmed that inadequate humidity control in the indoor environment leads to the proliferation of mold, dust mites, and cockroaches. The ideal relative humidity in the indoor environment should be within 30-50% to keep these allergens at bay. 74 studies have confirmed the wide variety of minor to severe adverse health effects that exposure to mold can cause.
References: 3, 7, 5, 10, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 43, 46, 47, 48, 60, 63, 64, 65, 67, 76, 79, 89, 90, 98, 101, 105, 106, 110, 111, 113, 114, 121, 122, 130, 131, 139, 140, 141, 144, 145, 151, 154, 160, 162, 164, 166, 169, 171, 174, 175, 177, 178, 181, 182, 184, 188, 191, 192, 194, 196, 200, 201, 202, 205, 210, 211, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 224, 227, 232, 233,  234, 243, 244, 245, 253

 

Health Effects from exposure to mold and their mycotoxins, dust mites, and cockroaches

Respiratory

Neurological

Other

Irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat

Acute bronchitis

Short term memory

Hemorrhaging disorders

Seizures

Asthma exacerbation

Allergic rhinitis

Executive function/judgement

Altered brain flow

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Asthma Induction

Allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis

Attention deficit

Dizziness

Organic Toxic Dust Syndrome

Allergy

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis

Hand/eye coordination

Musculoskeletal pain

Gait imbalance

Wheezing

Sick Building Syndrome

Depression

Headaches

Numbness and/or tingling

Chronic Rhinosinusitis

Shortness of breath

Cognitive deficit

Anxiety

Areflexia

Coughing

Bronchopulmonary aspergillosis

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Fatigue

Nausea

Chest tightness

Carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic

Sleep Disturbances

Skin irritation

Fever

Gastrointestinal problems

Fast Facts:

  • Molds and dust mites thrive in indoor environments where the humidity is above 60%.
  • Mold proliferates indoors where there is any type of water intrusion or leakage that is not promptly cleaned up.
  • Dust mites are known asthma triggers and live in bedding and upholstery where humidity is sufficient.
  • Several studies have confirmed that occupying a water-damaged building or home contaminated with high amounts of mold increases the risk of developing asthma before the age of 7 by 7.5 times.
  • Mold significantly increases asthma morbidity in both adults and children.
  • Mold is primarily responsible for Sick Building Syndrome cases or Water-Damaged Building related illnesses.
  • Molds have the potential to produce known carcinogens and mutagens, known as mycotoxins.
  • Mold is difficult and expensive to remediate, and the best course of action is prevention.
  • Mold affects multiple systems of the body, including the respiratory, nervous, digestive, vascular, cutaneous, reproductive, and immune systems.
  • Many people in the US are allergic to several species of molds.
  • Landlords often do not repair or remediate water leaks/intrusions or mold infestations, leading to expensive litigation and adverse health effects in the residents.