How common are IAQ problems?

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 30% of all commercial buildings have significant IAQ problems. Similar estimates have been made by others. I am unaware of any similar estimates in regards to residences.

The World Health Organisation found in 1995 that "up to one third of buildings in industrialised countries are sick". Contaminated indoor air is a significant health issue, impacting on a large proportion of the community.

What is Indoor Air Pollution?

In many cases, the two terms "air duct cleaning" and "indoor air pollution" are inextricably connected. In fact, air duct cleaning has evolved in response to the increasing concerns over indoor air pollution. Although most indoor air quality problems can be traced to problems outside the physical air conveyance system, a significant portion of indoor air quality issues can be traced, at least in part, to conditions within the air conveyance system itself. Most indoor air quality (IAQ) problems are a combination of many factors, the physical condition of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system being one of them.

What are the benefits?

Implementation of an effective IAQ maintenance program delivers multiple benefits:

What is a 'Sick' Building?

The term "Sick Building Syndrome '' (SBS) was named to describe buildings in which a percentage of the occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that are apparently linked to the time they spend in the building, but for which no specific cause can be identified.

Physical symptoms of SBS may include eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dry cough, dry or itchy skin, dizziness, nausea, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue and sensitivity to odours.

Usually the symptoms associated with SBS disappear or significantly diminish when the occupant leaves the affected space.

In contrast to SBS "building Related Illness" (BRI) occurs when symptoms of diagnosable illnesses are identified (such as Legionnaire's Disease, Pontiac fever, Histoplasmosis, sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma or dermatitis) and can be directly attributed to environmental agents in the air.

Unlike SBS complaints, however, BRI symptoms generally do not disappear when the affected individual leaves the building or home. In cases of BRI, the advice of a qualified health professional should be sought immediately.