Environmental Health in Israel | 2014

Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially with regard to the health and comfort of building occupants. Indoor exposure to air pollutants may occur in both private and public indoor environments, including homes, offices, schools, hospitals and transport systems. IAQ is affected by toxic gases (such as carbon monoxide [CO] and nitrogen oxides [NOx]), volatile organic compounds (VOCs, such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, styrene), pesticides, lead, flame retardants, respirable particles and dust, smoking (second- hand and third-hand), various biological pollutants (such as mold and bacteria), and physical contaminants (radiation, electromagnetic radiation, and asbestos). The main factors affecting IAQ are ventilation, indoor sources of pollutants, and the quality of ambient air entering the building. Poor IAQ has been associated with health effects such as asthma, chronic obstructive lung diseases, bronchitis (primarily in children), allergic reactions, and an increased risk of infectious disease. Low socio-economic status is also likely to contribute to the presence of factors that significantly affect IAQ. Current Regulations Standards and regulations for indoor air in Israel can be divided into three categories: those related to planning and building (requirements regarding ventilation, insulation, and building materials), those related to maximum permissible concentrations of indoor air pollutants (radon), and those related to emissions from materials used in the indoor environment (formaldehyde emissions from wood products). Indoor Air Quality Chapter 2 - 19 - Indoor Air Quality

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