Detecting Dangerous Indoor Air Pollution

Cedric Fernando, MD, is an experienced medical practitioner in the field of occupational health and safety. As medical director of the occupational health department at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital, Dr. Fernando prevents, treats, and manages workplace-related injuries, diseases, and substance abuse issues in Unicoi County, Tennessee.
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Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can affect the health and well-being of those exposed to it. Despite its lack of recognition as a public health threat, indoor air pollution is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the fourth-largest environmental danger in the United States. Annually, more lives are lost to illnesses related to poor IAQ than are lost in alcohol-related car accidents.

The instruments and techniques used in indoor air pollution detection are advanced and varied. Wireless detection monitors have improved air safety in buildings by allowing IAQ experts to remotely monitor for gas or radiation, collect data, and generate reports in a timely fashion. IAQ monitoring devices are able to detect all of the most common air pollutants, which include carbon monoxide, radon, formaldehyde, and microbial contaminants such as mold.

Measuring levels of carbon dioxide can give an early indication of air quality in a building. Though not considered a pollutant in low amounts, elevated levels of carbon dioxide can indicate the presence of other pollutants.

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