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Infiltration of Outdoor Pollutants

May/June 2015
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2015 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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Click here to read more articles about Indoor Air Quality
April 27, 2015
How building airtightness and pollutant characteristics affect the transport of outdoor air pollution into the indoor environment
Outdoor air pollution is a complex mixture of thousands of solid, liquid, and gaseous constituents. EPA sets National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for just six "criteria" pollutants in the outdoor environment that are known for their adverse effects on human health. These six pollutants are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), lead (Pb), and particulate matter (PM), which includes two subsets of PM—the mass of particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) and the mass of particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10). These regulations are designed to protect public health, including the health of sensitive populations, such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly. But what do they have to do with home energy performance and the readers of Home Energy?

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