The High Hidden Costs of Indoor Air Pollution

“The High Hidden Costs of Indoor Air Pollution” by YourIAQ explores the hidden costs associated with indoor air pollution, emphasizing its impact on productivity, healthcare expenses, and structural damage. Luckily, indoor air quality is easily improved, and with the right steps and awareness, many of these costs can be mitigated.

Total spending on respiratory conditions in the United States rose from $71 billion in 1996 to $170.8 billion in 2016, in part due to increased rates of chronic conditions such as asthma and also due to rising health insurance premiums.

In fact, premiums have risen 20% from 2017 and 43% from 2012. In 2022 alone, total expenditures reached a whopping $4.5 trillion. These costs will only continue to rise, as will the prevalence of respiratory conditions caused by poor air quality unless preventative action is taken. On a global scale, health damages due to PM 2.5 costs over an estimated $8 trillion.

Asthma itself costs Americans $88 billion annually, and it indirectly costs employers $2.8 billion as a result of lower productivity and increased absenteeism. Beyond the effects of asthma, poor indoor air quality costs the nation tens of billions of dollars annually in lost productivity and medical care.

In addition to impacting people’s health and work, poor indoor air quality can wreak havoc on property and its value. High humidity can cause structural damage devaluing a building by $3,700 per $125,000 annually. 45 million US homes have dangerous levels of mold which, given the average cost of mold remediation, would cost an estimated $225 billion total to fix.

Understanding the far-reaching economic impact of indoor air pollution is crucial for policymakers, businesses, and individuals to prioritize measures that enhance indoor air quality. Implementing effective strategies can mitigate these hidden costs and contribute to a healthier and more productive environment.

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