Ask Extension

Recent Articles


Monday, August 23, 2010

What’s in the Air?

By: Vestina Crayton, Extension Specialist

Controlling the source of the problem is the best defense against poor indoor air quality. Maggie Murphy, Environmental Specialist II with Pinellas County’s Department of Health has identified the top ten sources that can be controlled to optimize your indoor air environment.

Here’s five of the top ten:
1. Don’t allow smoking indoors – According to the US EPA second hand smoke also known as environmental tobacco smoke ETS) can cause lung cancer and heart disease.

2. Install a carbon monoxide detector- Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms. Since carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas, it is important to install a detector to monitor the levels of carbon monoxide. Gas stoves and exhaust from automobiles stored in an attached garage are sources of carbon monoxide.

3. Test for Radon- US EPA and the Surgeon General recommends that homeowners have their homes tested for radon. Second to first hand smoking, radon is a leading cause of lung cancer.

4. Control Moisture- Identify and fix all leaks. Hot and humid climates are the perfect environment for mold growth, dust mites and other pollutants. Keeping the relative humidity indoors between 30% and 55% is recommended.

5. Maintain Pets- Along with giving lots of love, our furry friends shed fur and release dander that contains allergens. These allergens can cause symptoms that range from sneezing to eczema.

To see the remaining five and to learn more, click here to hear the full presentation “Breathe Easy - Top Ten Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality” by Maggie Murphy, Environmental Specialist II, with the Pinellas County Department of Health.

Indoor Air Quality in Florida series
US Environmental Protection Agency


Post a Comment