Allergens are substances that can trigger an allergic reaction.
Allergens can be inhaled (e.g. pollen, animal dander), ingested
(e.g. foods or medication), touched (e.g. plants, detergents, chemicals)
or injected (e.g. venom from bee stings).
Allergic Reactions are symptoms that a person's body has
when it is working to rid itself of a perceived invader. Coughing,
sneezing, congestion, rashes, swelling, and itching are common
symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Alveoli are balloon-like sacs of air at the end of each
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber. It is
flexible and fire-resistant. Asbestos is used in a number of products
to strengthen them and provide insulation and fire protection.
Asbestos in homes can be a problem if it is disturbed. Cutting,
sanding, or other remodeling or removal activities can release
asbestos fibers into the air.
Asthma is an illness that causes a temporary blockage
of the small airways in the lungs. When someone is having an "asthma
attack," the smooth muscles around the airways tighten, causing
the airways to become inflamed, narrow, and produce excess mucus.
This makes it difficult for air to pass in and out of the lungs.
Asthma Triggers are things that bother your lungs and
start or "trigger" asthma symptoms. There are many kinds
of triggers, including viruses (such as colds), allergies, gases
and particles in the air, stress, and exercise.
Biological Contaminants include bacteria, molds, mildew,
viruses, animal dander, house dust mites, cockroaches, and pollen.
They can cause bad indoor air and damage surfaces inside and outside
the home. These pollutants can travel through the air and are
Bronchi are two large tubes at the bottom of the trachea.
One leads to the left lung and the other goes to the right lung.
Each bronchusthe name for just one bronchibranches
into smaller and smaller bronchial tubes.
Bronchial Tree is the intricate network of air passages
that supply the lungs. When inverted, this structure resembles
a tree, with the trachea resembling the trunk.
Bronchioles are the tiniest bronchial tubes. Each lung
has about 30,000 bronchioles that are about the same thickness
as a hair.
Capillaries are a mesh-like network of tiny blood vessels
that help transport oxygen into the bloodstream.
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and highly
poisonous gas. Carbon monoxide blocks oxygen in the blood from
being delivered to the rest of the body. It is released by burning
natural gas, charcoal, gasoline, and tobacco.
Cilia are tiny hairs in the respiratory tract that keep
mucus and dirt out of the lungs.
Combustion is the process of burning.
Contaminants are substances that have an adverse effect
on the air, water, or soil.
Data are pieces of information
Diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that works with your
lungs to allows us to inhale (breathe in) and exhale (breathe
Dust mites are small animals closely related to spiders
and ticks that live in bedding, couches, carpet, stuffed toys
and old clothing. Dust mites feed on the dead skin that falls
off the bodies of humans and animals and on other organic material
found where they live. Dust mites are second only to pollen in
causing allergic reactions that range from itchy noses and eyes
to severe asthma attacks.
Emissions are substances given off into the air, usually
from a source such as smokestacks, cars, and other residential,
commercial, or industrial facilities.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) or
"secondhand smoke," is a mixture of the particles and
gases that are emitted from burning a cigarette, pipe, or cigar,
as well as the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Smoke can contain
any of more than 4,000 different substances including carbon monoxide
and formaldehyde. More than 40 of the substances are known to
cause cancer in people or animals and many of them can cause itchy
eyes, coughing, and sneezing.
Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas. It is
widely used in household products, such as glue, wood products,
permanent press fabrics, flooring, cabinets, and furniture.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Humidity
levels can be measured by hygrometers, which are available at
local hardware stores
Hypothesis is a hunch or guess that is used to begin a
study. It is a prediction about what will happen or why something
Larynx contains the vocal cords and is sometimes referred
to as the voice box.
Lead is a highly toxic, heavy, bluish gray metal that
was used in paints, pipe solder, food cans, gasoline, and in some
mini-blinds. You can be exposed to lead through old paint and
paint dust, water, food, dirt, and dishes made in some countries.
Lungs are two sponge-like, cone-shaped structures that
fill most of the chest cavity and are protected by the flexible
rib cage. Together, the two lungs form one of the largest organs
in the body. Their essential function is to provide oxygen from
inhaled air to the capillaries and to exhale the carbon dioxide
delivered from them.
Microscopic particles are extremely small substances that
cannot be seen with the naked eye. In order to view microscopic
particles, you need the assistance of a microscope.
Mold is a superficial, often wooly substance that grows
on damp or decaying organic matter or on living organisms. Molds
produce tiny spores to reproduce. These mold spores waft through
the indoor and outdoor air continually.
Monitoring involves periodically or continuously watching
or testing to collect information.
Nitrogen Dioxide is colorless, odorless gas that can be
released by burning fuels and by smoking tobacco products.
Organic Chemicals are used in many household products.
Paints, varnishes, and waxes all contain organic chemicals, as
do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby
products. Fuels are also made up of organic chemicals. All of
these products can release organic compounds when they are used,
and, to some degree, when they are stored.
Particulates are very small pieces of matter, such as
a particle of dust or a fiber.
Pesticides are chemicals used to kill household pests
(such as bugs, spiders, and cockroaches). They can also be used
on houseplants, pets, wood, and woolen products to keep pests
away. Pesticides used outdoors may be tracked in on the bottom
of your shoes.
Pollutant is anything introduced into the environment
that causes problems for people or animals. Air pollutants are
unwanted chemicals or other materials found in the air, such as
grasses, vapors, dust, smoke, or soot. Most pollutants are created
as by-products of processes found to be useful.
Pollution is harm caused to the natural environment.
Prediction is a statement in advance of an event. That
statement may be based on observation or experience.
Radon is a naturally occurring colorless, odorless, and
tasteless radioactive gas. It is produced by the breakdown of
uranium in rocks and soil. Radon can enter homes through cracks
in the basement floors and walls and opening around sump pumps,
drains, and construction joints.
Radon Detector is a mechanical, electrical, or chemical
device designed to find radon levels in homes. Common radon detectors
are the charcoal canister, alpha track detector, and electret
Respiration is breathing. Breathing supplies cells with
oxygen and takes away carbon dioxide.
Secondhand Smoke, see environmental tobacco
Stachybotrys Mold commonly called "stachy,"
is a greenish-black, slimy mold found only on cellulose products
(such as wood or paper) that have been wet for several days or
more. The mold does not grow on concrete, linoleum or tile. Growth
occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity,
water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. All
molds, including Stachybotrys mold, should be treated the same
with respect to potential health risks and removal.
Surfactant is an essential fluid secreted inside the alveoli
composed of fatty proteins. It appears to play a role in preventing
Temperature is a measure of how hot or cold something
is. Temperature is measured on a definite scale, such as Celsius,
Fahrenheit, or Kelvin.
Trachea is the main trunk for the system of tubes that
carry air into and out of the lungs. It is also known as the windpipe.
Ventilation is the process of circulating stale indoor
air to the outside and bringing fresh outdoor air into a building.