What Is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

What Is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

Poor indoor air quality leads to a drastic reduction in human health and can lead to permanent illness if nothing is done. Indoor air quality relates to the level of harmful toxins in your air. 

This question is best answered by looking at what happens when there is a lack of indoor air quality.

Poor air quality is the result of high levels of germs and chemical contaminates.  These high levels can cause symptoms like dizziness, headaches, asthma, respiratory infections and in extreme cases pneumonia and blood poisoning. High levels of germs, in particular mould, have been documented to cause the above symptoms.

SAN-AIRtm is primarily concerned with the germs that spread sickness from person to person or cause respiratory infections in people. 

SAN-AIRtm improves indoor air quality by keeping down the germ count in indoor air space.  

An indoor environment will suffer mould and bacterial load from many sources. Occupation by people; furnishings such as carpets; moisture that comes in and accumulates in an air control system; all can become a collection ground for environmental dust. All of these can lead to an increase of microbe contamination which is very often higher than the outside environment.

Fungi are organisms present in soil, dust, and decaying organic matter. They produce spores that are capable of becoming airborne. Fungi are also associated with unpleasant odours, discolouring and degradation of building materials. The fungi of interest in indoor air quality are commonly known as moulds.  Moulds are able to grow on virtually any substrate, including:

  • paint,
  • glass,
  • electrical equipment,
  • textiles.

Inhalation of fungal spores can cause clinical symptoms via several mechanisms. These include allergic reactions,activity, toxicity and respiratory sickness.

Indoor Air Quality is achieved by controlling the influences from several factors:

  • maintenance of air supply systems
  • condition of furnishing and fittings
  • human occupancy standards
  • source of fresh air for building
  • activities being carried out inside buildings
  • quality of surface cleanliness.

The World Health Organisation has published a set of Guidelines on this subject (2010), and there the finding is that 98% or more of homes in the world are affected by some form of mould contamination.

It is the effect of the chemical toxins released by active mould which affects us. These toxins, called Mycotoxins, lodge in our airways and have a detrimental effect on our immune system, typically causing respiratory infections when bacteria start lodging in our airways due to our reduced immune defences. So we see this manifested typically by asthma attacks, followed by respiratory bacterial infections. Many parents are familiar with this sequence of events.

Mould is directly linked to many ailments in the human body, In the USA, for example there have been many deaths reported linked directly to the level of mould contamination in the indoor space. In Australia there have been severe illnesses also reported.

CAUTION: Any musty smell or mould odour from any closed space such as a room, car, boat, attic, holiday house or caravan, indicates the presence of mould. Limit your exposure by removing yourself as soon as possible.

Use SAN-AIRtm  to treat the area, and you will get results in 24 to 48 hours. In some cases and with the correct dosage you will note results as early as 1 to 2 hours after you begin using our product.

Use of SAN-AIRtm will lead to decrease in indoor bio-burden to levels well below current Australian Standards for Indoor Air.

We recommend the following limits to ensure adequate indoor air health

  • mould below 150 colonies per 1000 Lt of air
  • bacteria below 1000 colonies per 1000 Lt of air

SAN-AIRtm will achieve both of these bio-burden levels with low level dosage of the air handling unit, and importantly will help keep the air handling unit from accumulating unsafe levels of bio-burden.

Users of SAN-AIRtm in air-conditioning equipment are recommended to still implement a regular regime for coil cleaning and duct work cleaning, as well as general acceptable standards of housekeeping.

There are over 900 research papers around the world recognizing that indoor air quality can be severely undermined by poor maintenance of the premise’s Air Handling Unit. The WHO has now a published document acknowledging that 98% of world indoor space is affected by some form of mould or other.

A poorly designed air control system can fail to give proper air flow and humidity control of an indoor air space, leading to serious bio-burden build up. This has been shown to lead to serious health effects in building occupants. The implication is that proper maintenance of the air handling unit goes a long way towards achieving ideal levels of good indoor air quality. Even a clean air conditioner will deliver several times the bioburden found in outside air. 

Small levels of contamination depositing inside the workings of an air handling system can lead to serious levels of contamination when the conditions of moisture and food source are right for further growth. 

Many studies show lower and lower levels of mould contamination lead to severe loss of health. SAN-AIRtm own studies agree with some reports from other health organisations around the world.

Our research has found that mould counts as low as 100 colonies per cubic meter of air can lead to human respiratory system discomfort causing suppression of the immune system. Studies around the world show that normal outdoor air carries 50 to 600 bacteria and mould per 1,000 Litres of air

  • The same studies show a “clean” air conditioner delivers 1,000-2,500 bacteria and mould per 1,000 Litres of air
  • When indoor air smells musty, or people start to show ill effects, the indoor air either because of some surface contamination or because of the air conditioning, usually delivers well above 2,500 bacteria and mould per 1,000 Litres of air.

Australian Standards Reference SAA/SNZ HB32:1995: Contamination by fungi or bacteria can develop on wet surfaces. It has been suggested that an acceptable level of airborne viable micro-organisms in occupied spaces is around 500 to 1000 colony forming units per cubic metre. Levels of 3000, 5000 and 10 000 have been associated with hypersensitivity pneumonitis outbreaks and it is generally thought that a level of 1000 is sufficient to warrant investigation and improvement (which is not to say that the air is unsafe or hazardous—such assessments require the services of medical practitioners and epidemiologists). 

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