Indoor air quality

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Indoor air quality can be impacted by:

Particulate matter (PM) is a term that refers to any particles that are 2.5microns or smaller in size that become airborne and when inhaled becomes lodged in the lung. PM can impact healthy individuals by making it difficult to breathe on a short term basis and long term exposure may result in chronic lung illnesses

Indoor air quality at work

WorkSafe BC is responsible for the safety of all employees within the Province of BC.

Improving indoor air quality

The best way to improve indoor air quality is to reduce or eliminate sources of pollutants and provide adequate ventilation.

CO:

  • Install CO monitors in your home
  • Ensure all fuel burning appliances are maintained in good operating condition

Radon:

  • Research the community where you live to find out if you are at risk of radon exposure
  • Test for radon using a recognized method
  • Seal cracks, crevices and around pipes and drains in basement floors and improve ventilation in basements or the lower level of the home
  • Cover exposed soil in crawl spaces

VOCs:

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions on proper usage of chemicals
  • Store chemicals away from living areas and use them in a well-ventilated area
  • Read the labels on household supplies and chose lower emission products
  • If possible, allow new furniture to off gas for a few weeks before moving into the home; otherwise increase home ventilation

Dust and Dust Mites:

  • If possible replace carpet with hardwood or opt for shorter strand carpet
  • Vacuum (look for models that are HEPA/Allergy approved) and launder linens regularly
  • Chose furniture and pillows that are allergy friendly and less prone to dust accumulation
  • Launder linens and bedding in hot water weekly

Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS):

  • Reduce or quit smoking
  • Do not smoke indoors or within enclosed areas
  • Wash clothing regularly that has been exposed to ETS

Mould

  • Remove materials contaminated by mold or clean moldy surfaces (if smooth and non-porous)
  • Ventilate home and dry wet areas quickly
  • Fix all leaks immediately

Questions?

Contact your local environmental health protection office for more information on indoor air quality. 

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