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ENV100 Lecture NotesJan 30 2012 Atmospheric Science and Weather continued READING Chapter 13Indoor air pollutionIndoor air contains higher concentrations of pollutants than outdoor air o 6000 people die each day from indoor air pollutionAverage person in North America indoors 90 of the time o Exposed to synthetic materials insecticides cleaning fluids plastics chemically treated wood Sick building syndromeproduced by indoor pollution o Solved by using lowtoxicity building materials and good ventilation1970s ventilation systems sealed off nonopening windows installed for energy efficiency trapping pollutants insideMany sources of indoor air pollutionMany VOCs pollute indoor airVOCsvolatile organic compounds o Released by everything from plastics and oils to perfumes and paints o Burning releases dioxins and furans o Formaldehyde from pressed wood and insulation irritates mucous membranes and induces skin allergies o Includes pesticides which are found indoors more often than outdoorsMost VOCs are released in very small amounts o Unclear health implications due to low concentrationsIndoor air pollution in the developing world arises from fuelwood burningBurning wood charcoal crop and animal wastes for cooking fuel Kills 16 million people each yearCauses pneumonia bronchitis allergies cataracts asthma heart disease cancer and premature deathTobacco smoke and radon are the most dangerous indoor pollutants in the developed worldSecondhand smoke from cigarettes is especially dangerouso Contains over 4000 dangerous chemicals o Causes eye nose and throat irritationRadon gas is the secondleading cause of lung cancer in the developed world o Colourless odourless gas that can seep into buildings Living organisms can pollute indoorsTiny living organisms can also polluteIncludes dust mites and animal dander Worsens asthma
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