an entertaining Powerpoint from the Health Department about

Indoor Air Quality
A Presentation from the
Mansfield/Ontario/Richland County
Health Department
“Hi There! I’m Doc Oxygen.”
“I’m going to talk about a
subject that affects all of us:
Indoor Air Quality.”
About Indoor Air Quality
“There’s a lot to know about Indoor Air
“Let me flip this
switch and we’ll see
what’s going on.”
About Indoor Air Quality
• What does Indoor Air Quality mean?
“Indoor Air Quality is
about how good, as well as
how bad, the air is inside
the places we live or work.”
About Indoor Air Quality
• What does Indoor Air Quality mean?
“Truth is, we spend about
90% of our time indoors.
Risks to health may be greater
due to exposure to air pollution
indoors than outdoors.”
What Causes Indoor Air Problems?
•Indoor pollution
sources that release
gases or particles
into the air are the
primary cause of
indoor air quality
Looking Into Indoor Air Quality
“Scientists and Health Professionals took
a close look at Indoor Air and found a lot of
things that can make us sick.”
• Molds
• Dust Mites
• Pests
• Even Our Pets!
Looking Into Indoor Air Quality
“Then we discovered stuff you can’t see
and sometimes can’t even smell.”
• Radon
• Asbestos
• Pesticides
• Formaldehyde
• Carbon Monoxide
• Secondhand Smoke
Looking Into Indoor Air Quality
• Anything else to worry about?
“Sure, inside and outside.
Lead poses a serious health
risk, especially for kids.
And buzzing around outside
are pesky mosquitoes who
could carry West Nile virus.”
What Are the Health Effects?
• Immediate effects may show up
after a single exposure or may
take years to show up.
• Immediate effects include irritation to
the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches,
dizziness, and fatigue.
• Health effects from years of exposure
could include some respiratory
diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
What Are the Health Effects?
• The likelihood of immediate
reaction to indoor air pollution
depends on several factors.
• Age and preexisting medical condition
are two important influences.
• Symptoms of certain diseases,
including asthma, may show up soon
after exposure to some pollutants.
• Whether a person reacts depends on
personal sensitivity which varies
greatly from person to person.
Improving Air Quality in the Home
•Three Improvement Strategies
• Source Control
» Eliminate or contain the source.
• Ventilation Improvements
» Increase the amount of outdoor air coming
indoors by opening windows.
» Increase ventilation to the outside using
attic fans and bathroom and kitchen
exhaust fans.
• Air Cleaners
» Use an air cleaner with high air circulation
and an efficient collector (good ones may
be expensive!).
Indoor Air Quality Helpful Brochures
“The following information
shows some problem areas.
Find out what you can do
about it by getting one of the
helpful brochures from the
County Health Department.”
Indoor Air Quality Bad Boys
• Biological Contaminants
• Mold and Mildew • Animal Dander
• Dust Mites • Cockroaches (Yeechh!)
Biological contaminants may cause as many as 200,000
emergency room visits a year by asthma patients.
See Asthma Brochure (blue) and Mold Brochure (green)
Indoor Air Quality Bad Boys
• The mixture of smoke that comes from the
burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar (and
the smoke exhaled by the smoker).
It’s a complex mixture of over 4000 compounds,
more than 40 of which are known to cause cancer.
See Secondhand Smoke Brochure (tan)
Indoor Air Quality Bad Boys
• Sources:
Naturally occurs as uranium breaks down in the soil.
Colorless and odorless, radon gas enters a home through
cracks in walls and floors, floor drains and sumps.
When trapped in the home concentration builds up.
• Health Effects:
Exposure to elevated levels of radon leads to lung cancer.
The EPA estimates that radon causes
14,000 deaths per year in the United States.
See Radon Brochure (red)
Indoor Air Quality Bad Boys
• Lots of Sources:
Unvented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys
and furnaces; gas water heaters; woodstoves and fireplaces;
gas stoves; automobile exhausts from attached garages;
tobacco smoke.
• Health Effects:
Low levels - fatigue, chest pain; Higher Levels - Impaired
vision; headaches; dizziness; confusion; nausea. Fatal at
very high concentrations.
Causes 300 deaths per year in the United States
See Carbon Monoxide Brochure (violet)
Indoor Air Quality Bad Boys
• Sources:
Old lead-based paint. Exposures are created when leadbased paint is improperly removed from surfaces by
scraping or sanding.
• Health Effects:
At high levels lead can cause convulsions, coma, and even
death. Lower levels can effect the central nervous system,
kidneys, and blood cells and can impair mental and physical
“The number one environmental threat to the health of children
in the United States” - - Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, 1991
See Lead Brochure (yellow)
Another Threat Around the House
“Man, I hate these guys.
Mosquitoes will be outside, and
sometimes inside, your house.
Here’s why they are a problem:
West Nile virus!”
Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes
“Grab a brochure on West
Nile virus and see how
you can protect yourself
and also help eliminate
See West Nile virus Brochure (orange)
Indoor Air Quality Conclusion
• I hope I’ve been able to help you
see what Indoor Air Quality
means, the sources, the health
problems, and what you can do
about it.
• If you need more information, call
the Mansfield/Ontario/Richland
County Health Department.
“This is Doc Oxygen
Good Health.”