Indoor Pollution

Building materials are the source of various kinds of pollution inside completed buildings.

Many organic materials, as well as mineral materials with organic additives, are apt to host fungal growth when exposed to continuous humidity.These can emit mycotox-insand other serious irritants.

Awide range of common building materials emit particles and gasesthat carry a variety of health risks. Examples are volatile organic compounds such as solvents in paints. In such cases, emissions will be greatestduringthefirst weeks or months. In other cases, the emissions are persistent, as from plasticizers in soft plastic flooring. In yet other cases, emissions may increase lateras a material ages or is exposed to excessive temperature or humidity.

These emissions are most often the cause of respiratory problems, whilst many may increase susceptibility to asthma and allergies, and in some cases they include highly toxic and carcinogenic substances.

Electromagnetic radiation includes both radioactivity and low frequency radiation, and both can affect biological processes. Some materials emit small doses of radioactive radon gas. Materials that are good conductors can increasethe low intensity magnetic fields in buildings. Whilst radioactivity is carcinogenic, low frequency radiation is thought by many to be able to cause illness and fatigue.

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