Indoor Air Quality System Maintenance Helps Prevent Problems

It is well established that individuals in New York City spend 80 to 90 percent of their time indoors, either at the work

place or at home. It has also been established that the indoor air quality may be as poor as the outdoor air. The health risks incurred by merely breathing the air at home can sometimes exceed the general limits set by regulatory agencies. The pollutants found in indoor air are similar to those found outdoors and may, in fact, come from outdoor sources. Some of the more common air quality problems within apartments or townhouses are poor ventilation, odors, insecticides, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke and formaldehyde, all of which can potentially lead to illness or allergic reaction.

Symptoms of SBS and BRI

Indoor air quality complaints generally begin with building occupants being plagued by one or more symptoms of a non-specific nature, typical of what has been called collectively the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Sufferers do not tend to experience symptoms constantly; upon leaving an affected building at night or on a weekend, symptoms subside, only to reappear after reentering the building.

By contrast, a more serious set of diseases, referred to as Building Related Illnesses (BRI), are clinically diagnosable diseases. These diseases are thought to arise from more prolonged exposure than SBS situations. It is quite possible that individuals may suffer from both BRI and SBS.


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  • I become slepy during the day while the forced heat is on.. it's either too hoe or if turned off too cold.. In the evening while sleeping I also have a dry tongue.. any suggestions to correct the problem with the heating unit?
  • how can residents have the air quality inspected when exterior work has been ongoing for months and there odors and an increase in allergens.
  • I have been plagued w/ very heavy cooking odors seeping into my bedroom from the kitchen on lower floor. I live in a luxury condo in Hackensack,NJ and mgm't says they can't help. The odors often start in the AM and go thru late night. I bought an air purifier but that spdoesn't help.i have evidence that the air vent in the owners kitchen is blocked. I also suffer from COPD . Please advise.
  • Please help me. Walk-in closet off of my bedroom is the same temperature as it is outside. There is a gap between the walls at the bottom where they are supposed to meet the flooring. Once there was carpeting and former owner took it out and put in hard flooring. There is trim though, it’s just separated from the floor. My association told me it was my responsibility because the carpet was removed, however, I have all kinds of debris blowing in from outside into the closet, dirt, twigs, hair, crap, bugs for starters. Shouldn’t there be insulation or something more at the bottom of the wall separating the outside air and creepy things from coming inside the closet? Of course, I think the association should be responsible. Thank you so much for any advice/answer you can give me.