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Biological Pollutants

Biological contaminants include bacteria, molds, mildew, viruses, animal dander and cat saliva, house dust, mites, cockroaches, and pollen. There are many sources of these pollutants. Pollens originate from plants; viruses are transmitted by people and animals; bacteria are carried by people, animals, and soil and plant debris; and household pets are sources of saliva and animal dander. The protein in urine from rats and mice is a potent allergen. When it dries, it can become airborne. Contaminated central air handling systems can become breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and other sources of biological contaminants and can then distribute these contaminants through the home.

By controlling the relative humidity level in a home, the growth of some sources of biologicals can be minimized. A relative humidity of 30-50 percent is generally recommended for homes. Standing water, water-damaged materials, or wet surfaces also serve as a breeding ground for molds, mildews, bacteria, and insects. House dust mites, the source of one of the most powerful biological allergens, grow in damp, warm environments.

Health Effects From Biological Contaminants

Some biological contaminants trigger allergic reactions, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis, and some types of asthma. Infectious illnesses, such as influenza, measles, and chicken pox are transmitted through the air. Molds and mildews release disease-causing toxins. Symptoms of health problems caused by biological pollutants include sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, lethargy, fever, and digestive problems.

Allergic reactions occur only after repeated exposure to a specific biological allergen. However, that reaction may occur immediately upon re-exposure or after multiple exposures over time. As a result, people who have noticed only mild allergic reactions, or no reactions at all, may suddenly find themselves very sensitive to particular allergens.

Some diseases, like humidifier fever, are associated with exposure to toxins from microorganisms that can grow in large building ventilation systems. However, these diseases can also be traced to microorganisms that grow in home heating and cooling systems and humidifiers. Children, elderly people, and people with breathing problems, allergies, and lung diseases are particularly susceptible to disease-causing biological agents in the indoor air.

Mold, dust mites, pet dander, and pest droppings or body parts can trigger asthma. Biological contaminants, including molds and pollens can cause allergic reactions for a significant portion of the population. Tuberculosis, measles, staphylococcus infections, Legionella and influenza are known to be transmitted by air.



Categories: Facts About Air Quality

  • Indoor air quality is one of the top five of the EPA’s environmental risks to public health.
  • Common indoor air pollutants include pollen, mold, dust mites, carbon monoxide, excessive carbon dioxide, radon, and other chemical fumes.
  • Indoor pollution is typically two to five times worse than the air outdoors. Sometimes up to 100 times worse.
  • Secondhand smoke from tobacco is a major indoor air pollutant. It contains about 4,000 chemicals, including 200 known poisons.
  • Secondhand smoke causes over 150,000 respiratory problems in infants and 38,000 deaths annually.
  • 10% of Americans have never changed the filter on their heating and air conditioning unit.
  • 75% of Americans live with someone who suffers from asthma, allergies, or other respiratory illnesses.
  • Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to asthma, headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue.
  • One out of 15 American homes has a dangerously high radon level. Radon naturally emits from the earth and enters the home through cracks in the foundation floor and walls, drains, and other openings. Indoor radon exposure is estimated to be the second leading cause of lung cancer.
  • Only 27% of Americans have carbon monoxide detectors at home. Carbon monoxide is a gas that can stop coordination, worsen heart conditions, and at very high levels, can cause death.
  • Asthma accounts for 14 million missed school days annually. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after or, possible, years later.(Environment Protection Agency)
  • Heating and cooling systems are the largest single consumers of energy in buildings. (Energy Star – EPA / DOE)
  • A dirty evaporator coil or condenser coil will reduce cooling capacity and degrade equipment energy efficiency. (U.S. Department of Energy)


Categories: Facts About Air Quality

Household Cleaning Products/Chemicals

Sources: Many odorous chemicals/pollutants contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These come from many sources: cleaning agents, furnishings, pesticides, hobby materials, etc. (This is a VERY broad category of chemicals.)

Health Effects: May cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Many chemicals can cause serious problems in high concentrations but are present in the home at very low concentrations. The health impact of mixtures of these chemicals is not known.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Sources: Any common fuel-burning products can produce CO. Sources include heating equipment (furnaces, water heaters, fuel-fired space heaters), cook tops, ovens, charcoal grills, and engines.

Health Effects: CO itself is an odorless gas that can kill. Lower concentrations cause headaches, weakness, and drowsiness. Symptoms are often mistaken for the flu.


Sources: This chemical is found in many products because of several very useful properties. Drapes and permanent press fabrics can contain formaldehyde. Interior wood products (particle board, paneling, fiberboard) used to make countertops, cabinets and veneered furniture introduce large amounts of formaldehyde into the home.

Health Effects: Formaldehyde is a strong irritant. About 10 percent of the population is sensitive to extremely low levels.

Dust (Allergens)

Sources: Dust mites thrive in mattresses because of warmth, moisture, and a good supply of food. They may also live in carpets.

Health Effects: Many people are allergic to dust. Dust mites—microscopic spider-like creatures—are the primary source of allergens and a leading cause of asthma. Asthma-related emergency room admissions and deaths have increased in recent years (deaths tripled in ten years from 1,674 in 1977 to 4,580 in 1988).

Mold and Mildew

Sources: These organisms can grow almost anywhere, and their spores are nearly everywhere. Moisture is an essential ingredient for the growth of mold, mildew, etc. Organisms will also grow in stagnant water. Growth of these microorganisms is mainly a nuisance, in terms of unpleasant odors and destruction of materials. Sometimes problems can be more serious, involving health problems and structural damage to buildings (rotting wood).

Health Effects: These usually become important when molds or by-products are dispersed so that they are inhaled by people (mold growth in duct work, drip trays under air conditioning units or refrigerators). Some humidifiers can disperse large amounts of mold growth via droplets of water.


Sources: Asbestos was used in many products, ranging from insulating pipe and duct wrap to vinyl floor tiles and spackling. Thus, nearly all homes more than about 20 years old are likely to have some asbestos. If the material is in good condition and is left undisturbed, asbestos fibers should not become airborne and will not become a health hazard.

Health Effects: Asbestos can cause lung cancer, especially among smokers. About 600 to 1,000 U.S. deaths each year are attributed to asbestos; nearly all involve workplace exposure.


Sources: Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that comes from uranium. Houses on or near sources can draw in radon from soil. Ground wells, natural gas, and stone used for construction are other potential sources of radon.

Health Effects: Of all indoor pollutants, radon is one of the most important in terms of numbers of deaths attributed to it. Radon can cause lung cancer with prolonged exposure. Current calculations estimate 5,000 to 15,000 deaths each year in the U.S. are caused by radon.

Cigarette/Tobacco Smoke

Sources: Direct exposure from smoking tobacco. Indirect exposure from secondhand smoke. Health risks from tobacco smoke are far greater than from any other indoor air pollutant.

Health Effects: Tobacco smoke has been officially designated as a known human carcinogen. It contains many indoor air pollutants (carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, VOCs, particulates, etc.). The illnesses and deaths attributed to cigarette smoking are documented by very strong medical evidence and make most other health risks look trivial by comparison. Some 434,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are attributed to tobacco smoking.

Environmental tobacco smoke is a problem for nonsmokers who are regularly exposed to tobacco smoke. Some 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year are attributed to secondhand smoke. Children are particularly susceptible to cigarette smoke. It increases the severity of asthma and is estimated to cause between 150,000 and 300,000 cases of bronchitis and pneumonia in young children each year.



Categories: Facts About Air Quality

As the air in your home passes through your furnace it is exposed to the UV-C energy produced by the bulb.

The Ultraviolet UV-C light penetrates the outer membranes of bacteria and viruses and reaches deep inside the nucleus to damage the organisms’ genes and prevent reproduction.

The UV-C light specifically targets the DNA and RNA, the genetic material in bacteria and viruses, thwarting replication and therefore preventing contagious diseases. Once the DNA and RNA have been destroyed and damaged, the cells can no longer attack healthy tissue.

This means that, while the bacteria and viruses may still be alive, they are incapable of spreading disease.

What does this mean for you?

You will sleep better knowing that by properly installing a Whole Home In-Duct Air Purification Unit you are creating a healthier environment for your family by neutralizing and disabling bacteria, viruses, fungi and mold spores. Testimonials from satisfied customers confirm that health issues such as respiratory allergies, asthma, headaches, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, sore throat, fatigue and many other symptoms of illness along with odors caused by pets, smoke and cooking are eliminated by more than 99% when used in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines.



Categories: Facts About Air Quality