Indoor Air Quality in Housing
This chapter focuses on domestic indoor air quality (IAQ) research and some research biases in this field. Poor IAQ is particularly problematic for a sensitive subgroup of individuals, many of whom must spend much of their time inside. The indoor environment can be up to ten times more polluted than the exterior, and contain a greater range and concentration of contaminants. The unregulated domestic environment is coming under closer scrutiny as chronic, low-level exposure to chemicals, contaminants and allergens are precipitating health problems more commonly seen in the workplace. Scientific evidence increasingly shows that poor IAQ can cause problems for the body's immune system, particularly for those with an acquired or genetic susceptibility. An individual's ability to deal with environmental contaminants is reliant on a number of predisposing factors, such as gender, genetic make-up and pre-existing diseases. Building related research has traditionally supported safety and health issues around minimum building standards and pathogen exclusion, reinforced by building codes and regulations.