Indoor Air Quality and Mold: Past, Present and Future Considerations

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term referring to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Indoor air quality, like energy management, is a fairly young industry. In fact, many of today’s IAQ issues stem from the energy-conscious building practices used in the 1970s. Structures were built virtually airtight in order to conserve electricity, causing ventilation problems and, thus, breeding some of today’s IAQ concerns.

Continuing media attention given to the health effects of toxic mold, the outbreak of infectious diseases such as swine flu, and the increase in chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma have resulted in a growing interest and attention to indoor air quality in homes, commercial buildings, schools, and hospitals.

IAQ can be affected by microbial contaminants such as mold and other bacteria, or any mass or energy stressor that can induce adverse health conditions. Indoor air is becoming more of a health threat than outdoor air. Determination of IAQ involves collecting air samples, monitoring human exposure to pollutants, collecting samples on building surfaces, and computer modeling luchtkwaliteit meten in huis of airflow inside buildings.

There are two procedures involved when IAQ concerns are raised: investigation and remediation. Mold investigation is the process of identifying the location, existence, and extent of a mold hazard in a structure; mold remediation is the process of removal and/or cleanup of mold from an indoor environment.