The Importance of Indoor Air Quality

Filed under: Real Estate Law

We all know that water, air, and food are essential to life. But of course, these things can also be hazardous to our health if they contain dangerous elements. In the case of air quality, the state of California takes it pretty seriously – so seriously, in fact, that the California Department of Public Health created the Indoor Air Quality Program (Cal-IAQ). The purpose of the program is to monitor indoor air quality in California offices, residences, and public buildings, so that Californians will be provided with cleaner air.

If you’re a residential or commercial landlord, it would be wise to be aware of the state’s strict standards for indoor air quality. In some cases you could be held liable for poor air quality and require the services of a real estate attorney.

Generally speaking, it’s best to become familiar with your responsibilities before a problem occurs. There are many different causes of poor air quality, but some of the leading culprits are:


  • Dampness and mold – this could occur due to either past or present water damage within the property. Even if you can’t see mold, it could be growing inside walls or underneath flooring – really anywhere that water damage may have occurred. Mold can cause serious health problems in individuals who are repeatedly exposed to spores.
  • Asbestos – this mineral was once used in construction and manufacturing, but we now know it is associated with mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer. Asbestos may still be present in older buildings.
  • Radon – this natural gas is commonly found in California. It can cause serious damage and even cancer in the lungs. Unfortunately, it is odorless and tasteless, so it can go undetected for some time unless you hire an expert to specifically check for its presence.


The above toxins are just a few of the many potential dangers lurking in our air. The bottom line is to be vigilant about building maintenance and air quality testing. If you do end up with an air quality claim filed against you, seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney immediately.


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