Understanding Indoor Air Quality Terminology

Information for the More Technically Minded!

At SRI Energy, we understand the importance of indoor air quality and its impact on our health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six pollutants in the outdoor environment that can have adverse effects on human health. But did you know that these pollutants can infiltrate our homes, where we spend almost 70% of our time?

Here are the six principle pollutants identified by the EPA:

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Improperly vented or non-vented fuel-burning appliances such as space heaters, wood stoves, gas stoves, water heaters, dryers, and fireplaces can release carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that interferes with the delivery of oxygen throughout the body. Carbon monoxide can cause headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, and even death.

Lead (Pb)

Lead is a common element found throughout the environment in many different sources. It poses a significant health risk if too much enters the body. The risk is especially high for pregnant women and young children. Homes built prior to 1977 are likely to contain lead-based paint. Soil near heavily-used streets and roads may contain lead as a result of past use of lead in gasoline. Lead buildup in the soil can contribute to high levels of lead in household dust.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

Nitrogen Dioxide is one member of a larger family known as Nitrogen Oxides (NOX). It is a reactive gas that is generated from high traffic areas, commercial combustion processes, home combustion appliances, and fossil fuel-powered (ex. coal) generating plants.

Ozone (O3)

Should ozone generators be used to reduce odors in the home or to purify the air? Studies have shown that when ozone reacts with chemicals, it often produces irritating and even harmful by-products. Ozone can cause deterioration of rubber, plastics, and other materials, including the wiring in your house. Odor reduction may be achieved in such situations with the consequence of increasing other volatile organic chemicals such as aldehydes and formic acid.

Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5)

Particulate matter (PM) is an air pollution term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. The pollutant comes in a variety of sizes and can be composed of many types of materials and chemicals. Particles that are small enough to be inhaled have the potential to cause health effects. Of particular concern is a class of particles known as fine particulate matter or PM2.5 that gets deep into the lung. PM has been linked to a range of serious respiratory and cardiovascular health problems.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is one of a group of highly reactive gasses known as “oxides of sulfur.” The largest sources of SO2 emissions are from fossil fuel combustion at power plants (73%) and other industrial facilities (20%). Smaller sources of SO2 emissions include industrial processes such as extracting metal from ore and the burning of high sulfur containing fuels by locomotives, large ships, and non-road equipment. SO2 is linked with a number of adverse effects on the respiratory system.

At SRI Energy, we are committed to helping you improve the air quality in your home. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for indoor air quality testing in TulsaJenksBroken ArrowBixbyOwassoSand SpringsSapulpa, or surrounding area home. Our professional team will provide you with the information and solutions you need to ensure that your indoor air is safe and healthy

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