Indoor Air Quality, the Silent Killer Touches All
Though long neglected, indoor air quality has been the silent killer for centuries. You may have heard the phrase, silent killer, used for radon or carbon monoxide; but these are just two factors in the air. There are a dozen ways to foul the air, and radon or carbon monoxide are probably something most people have heard about.
Yes, the air can kill you, make you sick, or ruin your health. It happens far more that we like to think. Mustard gas is a military term for a highly corrosive gas that will quickly kill anyone in the area. (See link) Did you know that mixing bleach and ammonia is a crude from of mustard gas, and it is deadly? Do not try mixing these two ingredients because the results are deadly and irreversible.
But, what two products are people using in their cleaning and sanitizing products? Bleach is widely touted as a sanitizing product. And, ammonia is another common product that can be bought off the shelf.
If you mix vinegar with bleach to create a toxic chlorine gas. Obviously, this is not mentioned to suggest anything but safety when using chemical cleaning products. In fact, mixing of any cleaning product can create unexpected dangers. So, the rule is to never mix cleaning product unless the label direct you to mix the product with another.
These chemical agents are constantly introduced to the closed environment of every building on a daily basis. While the gases may not have the volatility of the liquid, there is the concept of "BioMagnification" meaning that the combination of various ingredients may be more powerful than any single part. Gunpowder is a combination of sulphur, carbon, and potassium nitrate. Again, the power of these three ingredients are much more than any one element.
Whether at low levels, medium levels, or high levels; the combination of gases, pollutants, and other element is likely much worse than one item on the list. Bioaccumulation graduates minor concerns to large and ugly problems. This is the nature and mission for those who work with the indoor air quality.
Even particles make the air problems worse. There are free-floating bacteria and virus. We find small piece of asbestos and even lead in the air and dust. This is addition to pollen and allergens.
Mold spores are also a known health concern, but there are also more insidious concerns of mycotoxins from active mold in the building that are capable of entering directly into the bloodstream via the lungs.
There is a growing need to address with wide-spread issue by professional services. We see the ability of proactive cleaning services, odor removal companies, HVAC and duct cleaning services to include IAQ testing and treatments to protect the workplace and those who spend many hours at the job.