Why Does Indoor Air Quality Matter in Las Vegas?
Posted on February 21, 2019 by oozle
Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of America, and so we’re no stranger to smog—one of the biggest problematic consequences of pollution here. You may think that smog just isn’t a pretty sight when it hovers over the Las Vegas Strip, but it’s damaging too. In fact, it can cause damage that would be similar to a “sunburn in the lungs”. Our outdoor air quality is in such a detrimental condition that we’re ranked as the second most polluted metropolis.
With good reason to be concerned about our outdoor air quality, should we be worried about indoor air quality too?
Absolutely! A good portion of the US population spends 90% of their time indoors—at work, home, school, shopping, etc—and so our exposure to indoor air quality is greater. Plus, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that the quality of air can be two to five times worse indoors than it is outdoors. Here is why you need to take this issue seriously.
The Backwash of Particulate Matter
Firstly, what is particulate matter? According to the EPA, it is “the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air”. Inhalable PM is measured in two ways:
PM10: Particle matters that are 10 micrometers or smaller
PM2.5: Particle matters that are 2.5 micrometers or smaller
Second, think about it like a child’s backwash. If you give a two-year-old child a water bottle, you’re most likely going to get it back with a bunch of backwash in it. The water would be polluted with chunks of graham cracker or whatever else the child has most recently eaten. Would you drink it? No! Just like you wouldn’t drink someone else’s polluted water, you probably should do what you can to avoid breathing in particulate materials.
To help you understand where we’re going with this, think about China. With a population of over 1.3 billion, it has some of the most crowded and polluted cities in the world. For example, Zhengzhou, is a city with 4.5 million people. USA Today says that the city (at the time of testing) had a PM2.5 pollution per cubic meter of 86 micrograms and a PM10 pollution per cubic meter of 171 micrograms. That means that if you’re standing in one space and breathing in the air around you, you have the potential of being exposed to 86 micrograms of PM2.5 (ie. combustion particles or fumes) and 171 micrograms of PM10 (ie. dust or pollen).
This is important to consider, because a study was done in China to see how outdoor air quality impacted indoor air quality. It was found that 54-63% of indoor PM2.5 could be traced to outdoor sources despite closed windows. That means that for Zhengzhou, it is likely that one cubic meter inside a building can contain up to 54 of the 86 micrograms of outside PM2.5 pollution. Once those pollution particles are inside, they can become concentrated and negatively affect the health of those indoors.
Enough of China. How Does This Compare to Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is definitely no Zhengzhou, and so the PM2.5 and PM10 levels do not get nearly that high here. In fact, those levels seem to vary from day to day and even moment to moment. In a given week, for example, the maximum amount of PM2.5 could be 41 micrograms per cubic meter. You can check out today’s PM levels for Las Vegas by using this tool provided by the EPA.
If the outside does get to the point of having a PM2.5 of 41 micrograms per cubic meter, then you are likely to still end up with a PM2.5 of around 25 micrograms per cubic meter inside. Thinking back to our backwashed water analogy, no matter how little that may seem compared to the levels in Zhengzhou do you still want that amount of pollution going into your body?
The Impact on Your Immune System
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, be aware that bad indoor air quality can be very harmful for you and worsen your condition. Even if you don’t have allergies or asthma, you could start showing symptoms of them. Here are some signs that you’re having a bad reaction to a pollutant:
- Irritation in your eyes, nose, or throat
Long-term exposure to pollutants can go beyond these somewhat tolerable symptoms. They can be life-threatening and include respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer.
What Options Do You Have?
Pollution is a huge battle that humankind is currently fighting. It may seem like the issue has gotten too big to resolve, but our professionals at ProServ can help you win the war at home or in the office. We understand how important it is for you to be able to provide the best indoor air quality to those inside your home or business building. To help you, we offer the following solutions:
- Air Filters: Regular filter changes help you defend against poor indoor quality.
- UV Air Cleaners: UV lights help purify your air by eliminating microscopic contaminants.
- Electronic Air Cleaners: These serve as an extra measure against poor indoor air quality and help with home climate.
- Humidifiers: These help your cleaners and filters operate more effectively as well as help with issues that may be a result of our dry Las Vegas air.
Don’t forget that we also offer A/C installation and repair services for both residential and commercial facilities. If you’re looking to improve your indoor air quality, don’t hesitate to call us!
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