Biological Pollutants Facts and Impacts

Biological pollutantsBiological pollutants are in our walls, in our food, in the water, even in the air around us. These pollutants are living organisms (i.e. enzymes, fungi, bacteria, viruses) or their byproducts which can be hazardous to human (and animal) health if they are swallowed, inhaled, or otherwise enter the body. The growth and spread of these biological contaminants are affected by nutrient sources, temperature, air movement and relative humidity. These pollutants can contaminate the indoor air in various situations: when living, dead, or debris from dead organisms are distributed by ventilation systems. Here’s what need to know about biological pollutants and how can you protect yourself and your family.

Sources of Biological Pollutants

Biological contaminants are living organisms themselves or the byproducts produced by living organisms. They are often found in areas that provide their preferred food and moisture. These areas include humidifiers, condensation pans, unvented bathrooms or cooling coils – these are all areas that can be breeding grounds for mold. Drapes, carpet, bedding and other dust collecting areas may also attract/accumulate biological pollutants. According to the EPA the following are the main sources of biological contaminants:

  • pollen (from plants)
  • viruses (transmitted via people and animals)
  • mold
  • bacteria (carried by people and animals, soil and plant debris)
  • household pets (saliva and animal dander)
  • droppings and body parts from cockroaches, rodents and other pests or insects
  • airborne dried protein from rat/mice urine
  • Contaminated HVAC systems (can breed mold, mildew and other biological contaminants, distributing them throughout your home)

Health Effects

The health effects felt from exposure to biological pollutants are extensive. Allergic reactions can include asthma, allergic rhinitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Illnesses such as chicken pox, measles and influenza are spread through the air while mold and mildew release disease causing toxins. The symptoms of exposure to biological pollutants may include coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, watery eyes, fever, dizziness, tiredness and even digestive problems.

Reduce Exposure to Biological Pollutants

The main rule in reducing your exposure to these pollutants are to keep up with your general housekeeping (dusting and vacuuming), as well as properly maintaining your HVAC system. Ventilation and air circulation are also important as well as controlling the relative humidity level in your home. By keeping the humidity at 30-50%, the growth of mold, mildew, dust mites and insects is inhibited. You’ll also want to:

  1. Install exhaust fans that are vented to the outdoors in your kitchen, bathroom and make sure your clothes dryer is vented outdoors.
  2. Ventilate your attic and any crawl spaces to prevent moisture from building up.
  3. If you use humidifiers, be sure to clean the appliances and fill them with fresh water every day.
  4. Water damaged carpet or building materials should be thoroughly cleaned and dried or removed or replaced if water damage is severe.
  5. Maintain regular housekeeping. Dust mites, dander, pollens and other allergens can be greatly reduced by regular cleaning.
  6. Take steps to reduce biological pollutants in basements by cleaning and disinfecting the basement floor drain. Run a dehumidifier in your basement if the humidity levels are above 50%.
  7. Change your HVAC system’s air filter regularly and check for any standing water in the condensation pan that is not being flushed out.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly in order to reduce biological pollutants, keep your indoor air quality clean and your unit running at its maximum efficiency. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filtersgrille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

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Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.