What’s worse, Indoor or Outdoor Air Pollution?
North Americans spend up to 20 hours a day (80-90%) of their time indoors and according to WHO, indoor air pollution is actually 10X’s worse than outdoor air pollution. As a result the following terms are now common to society:
Sick Building Syndrome (describes a range of health problems that can occur through exposure to the pollutants inside a home, office or other building)
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: people who develop chronic medical conditions from low level chemical exposure (substances include smoke, pesticides, plastics, synthetic fabrics, scented products, petroleum products and paints)
Building Related Illnesses: Often called Sick Building Syndrome, but is attributed directly to airborne building contaminants with diagnosable illnesses, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, asthma, Legionnaires Disease, hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
What Causes it?
Heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems may be poorly functioning, there may be mold or other organic contaminants, smoke from cigarettes or odors from perfumes), and even poor ergonomics and poor lighting can contribute to the wide range of symptoms experienced by sufferers. In homes, VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) also are released from paints, coatings, sealants, pesticides, chemicals from furniture and carpets, (underlays), wall paper, furniture, waxes and polishes, as well as toxic chemicals generally used to clean all indoor surfaces. In core city areas or near manufacturing plants, outdoor pollution will get inside and contribute, as well. WHO report suggested that up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be the subject of excessive complaints related to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
What are the symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome?
Office workers, children and the elderly are most at risk! The symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome are many and varied, and will lessen when the person leaves the building:
- Chronic stuffy and runny nose, sinusitis
- Eye, nose, or throat irritation, dry cough, puffy eyes
- Sensitivity to odors
- Recurrence of upper respiratory infections, breathing difficulties
- General fatigue, inability to concentrate,
- Occurrence of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) attacks
- Personality changes such as irritability or depression
- Lethargy, loss of productivity in the workplace
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Symptoms include: burning, stinging eyes, wheezing, breathlessness nausea, extreme fatigue/lethargy, headache/migraine/vertigo/dizziness, poor memory & concentration, runny nose (rhinitis), sore throat, cough, sinus problems, skin rashes and/or itching skin, sensitivity to light & noise, sleeping problems, digestive upset, muscle & joint pain.
What does poor Indoor Air Quality cost the government and families each year?
Did you know that costs associated caring for people with Sick Building Syndrome are so high that SBS is now a recognized by Workers Compensation Board as workplace sickness and Occupational Hazard. Hundreds of millions of dollars each year due to workers loss of productivity, health and attendance are lost by businesses. The government spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year finding solutions and fighting air pollution on studies, reports, incentives programs, grants, projects, organizations, and employees in this new Clean Air/Environmental Industry in Canada.
OUTDOOR POLLUTION FACTS:
- Outdoor Air Pollution is a major environmental risk to Canadians Health.
- Health Canada estimated that since 2002, 5,900 Canadian deaths each year can be attributed to air pollution. Air pollution and mortality data were collected in Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Windsor, Ont., Calgary and Vancouver
- Health Canada states that cardiovascular and respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of hospitalization and death in Canada. Air pollution exacerbates the condition of people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and causes measurable increases in the rates of hospitalization for these diseases.
- The population increase over the next millennium will compound this growing problem, increasing both, the tremendous costs to society and the resulting higher numbers of those effected, dramatically. As, well, the leading sources of Canada’s air pollutions, mainly from transportation, manufacturing, factories, and fuel burning sources, support society’s infrastructure and economy. Solutions are outside of Canada’s
- Politicians now compete globally, promising their country’s citizens the best regulations, standards, policies and practices for improving and protecting the air quality that is so needlessly negatively impacting Canadian’s lives.
- Industry-based facilities are turning “green.” Businesses and corporations, as well as public facilities like schools, colleges and community centers, owned and managed by a more aware and enlightened society, want to be perceived as be more “green,” more environmentally sensitive and more aware of their choices to improve their health and protect the planet’s, as well.
- Urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year. Those living in middle-income countries disproportionately experience this burden.
- New technologies with Comprehensive Solutions are much in demand in Canada. FN coatings remove up to 50 Kg/m2 of pollutants such as sulfate, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, and carbon. People, families, businesses, communities and governments can choose to significantly clean up indoor and outdoor air pollution in their environment by applying FN inside and outside their homes and building surfaces.
- By applying FN, Canadians can help keep their beautiful cities the cleanest and the greenest, and continue celebrating the highest standards of living in the world by reducing air pollution! We can also stand as leaders and help model FN’s successful Comprehensive Solution globally!