Indoor Air Pollution and Health Effects – Essay Example

The paper "Indoor Air Pollution and Health Effects" is an exceptional example of an essay on environmental studies.
According to Gurjar, Molina & Ojha (2010), the three major categories of indoor pollution are particles, gases, and vapors (p. 111). Gaseous pollutants that affect air quality include sulfur dioxide, various oxides of nitrogen, ozone and carbon monoxide. Particles that cause air pollution include particulate matter from different sources and usually vary in size and composition. Most particles are a complex mixture of organic or inorganic substances such as carbon, nitrates, minerals, and metals. Vapors include volatile compounds such as benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons attached to substances such as lead and mercury.
Bio-aerosols are particulate matter in the air. The particles arise from viruses, bacteria, pollen or other cellular components. Organisms may be re-suspended from floors into the air causing pollution. Inorganic gases e.g. the oxides of nitrogen, sulfur, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons can also cause indoor pollution. Particulates are a class of pollutants that include both chemical and physical contaminants that are present in the air as discrete particles (Gurjar, Molina, & Ojha, 2010). Particulate pollutants in the air include dust, smoke, fumes, and mists. VOCs are air pollutants that exist in the form of gases. VOCs can also off-gas under conditions of normal room temperatures and humidity. The most indoor environment contains various forms of VOCs. Examples of VOCs include wet emissions, refrigerants, gasoline, cosmetic products, biological matter, and others. Odors are the other class of indoor pollutants that cause irritation, discomfort, stress, and fear among people. Most odors arise from occupants. However, their effects are more or less on comfort rather than health.
Bio-aerosols maybe aerosols containing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi or organic compounds derived from organisms. Most bacteria and viruses are present in large numbers in the air and can cause air pollution. Hospital floors and other surfaces are important reservoirs for these bio-aerosols. Water is also a source of infective organisms such as bacteria and viruses. According to Mandal & Brandl (2011), bio-aerosols are easily transported from one environment to another hence, are ubiquitous n nature (p. 83)
Two air pollutants that have affected the health of family members include carbon monoxide and Formaldehyde. While burning charcoal for domestic purposes, one of my family members experienced a headache and dizziness. A headache was due to carbon monoxide. In the laboratory exercises, it is common to use formaldehyde for the preservation of organisms. Many students reported irritation to the eyes, throat, and nose. The effects are due to exposure to formaldehyde.