For Health Care Professionals
As a health care professional, you may see patients who present themselves with health symptoms related to air quality and other environmental issues. When it comes to indoor air quality, generally the areas of greatest concern are places where continued, extended exposure occurs, such as the home, workplace, school, or family vehicle. It is important to understand what the patient has been exposed to and their symptoms, which will help with diagnosing and recommending actions to be taken.
In terms of lung health, health care professionals are more concerned about fine particles that can get deeper into the lungs, gaseous substances, and common allergens (for those with allergies).
There are a number of questions that can be asked by health care professionals to their patients in order to get more information about the cause of the symptoms:
- When did the issue/symptom begin?
- Does the issue/symptom happen all the time or only on certain days or seasons? Are you usually in a particular place when this happens (home, workplace, etc.)?
- What kind of home do you live in? Did you recently move there? Did you make any renovations recently?
- Does anyone smoke in your home or in a nearby apartment?
- Do you have any pets/birds?
- Have you had any flooding or mould issues?
- Does anyone else at home have similar symptoms?
- Are you allergic to moulds, dust mites or pet allergens?
- Do you have a lot of scented products in your home?
- Do you regularly maintain your combustion appliances (e.g. gas furnace/stove/fireplace)?
- Do you have any pest infestations in your home?
- Do you have carpeting in your bedroom or anywhere else in your home?
- Are you exposed to any chemicals, dust, or fumes in your workplace?
- Are you exposed (because of a hobby or another reason) to any chemicals, dust, or fumes at home?
- Do you have feathers, down, or foam in your bedding?
For information on a specific pollutant found inside a home, visit the Healthy Home Tour, or download the fact sheets and Resource Materials.