Image: iStockphoto.com/Morgan Lane Studios
About This QuizThe quality of the air we breathe affects our health and mental state. It is also often overlooked, however, since we quickly acclimate to less than ideal air. Take this quiz to learn more about breathing easily and the main hazards you need to look out for.
How much of their time do Americans spend indoors?
around 75 percent
up to 90 percent
With such a large amount of time that Americans spend indoors, the quality of the air inside their homes and offices becomes all the more important.
Which of these organizations, in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), issues indoor air quality standards?
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Other independent, non-governmental organizations that also issue standards include the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
How can volatile organic compounds (VOCs) get into your home to contaminate the air there?
from paint or carpet
There are now many non-toxic paints available on the market, which can help consumers avoid these toxins in their homes.
from ceiling tiles and subflooring
from treated wood and kitchen floor tiles
From where does radon gas usually enter a house?
underground, beneath the house
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs from the natural breakdown of uranium. It can get trapped in closed spaces like a house's attic or basement.
the house's water supply
cleaning supplies used in the house
What is an example of an environmental threat that was addressed by regulation of manufacturers?
Many threats to indoor air quality are left up to consumers to address on their own. Asbestos, however, was the subject of government regulation in the U.S.
At what level are most regulations that address indoor air quality in the United States?
There are federal agencies which establish certain guidelines, but it is mainly up to the states themselves to enforce and regulate these guidelines are met.
What specifically does Minnesota's Clean Indoor Air Act address?
The law regulates smoking in businesses or public buildings.
What improvement in home building ironically also led to a decrease in indoor air quality?
While insulation helps make homes more energy efficient, it also leads to the trapping of toxins inside homes.
usable recycled materials
Which of these substances can harm indoor air quality and is commonly found in pressed wood products?
The EPA recommends that any pressed wood products used in a home be "exterior grade," which limits the amount of formaldehyde gas released.
What symptoms may be an indication of poor indoor air quality?
watery eyes and sore throat
While these symptoms may be an indication of poor indoor air quality, they are far from telltale signs. Education about improving indoor air quality is the best way to address the problem.
itchy skin and runny nose
blotchy skin and dry mouth
iStockphoto.com/Morgan Lane Studios