What is Indoor Air Pollution?
In the state of California, a great deal of attention is paid to outdoor air pollution, especially smog, with very strict regulations in place in an attempt to reduce the level of pollutants in the air. Did you know, though, that indoor air pollution also poses a threat to your health?
Indoor air pollution,according to the EPA, comes in many forms including chemicals, gases, and living organisms. Some pollutants cause health irritations such as sore eyes, burning noses, headaches, etc. while others have long-term health repercussions. Others exacerbate health conditions like asthma and allergies.
Many of the environmental reactions are proximity based with symptoms leaving once you’re no longer inside the home. Others, though may have a long lasting impact onrespiratory health or even cause cancer, the EPA reports.
Some indoor air pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, may cause death with sufficiently high levels of exposure.
How Bad is the Problem of Indoor Air Pollution?
Modern homes are more airtight than in the past and people are spending more time indoors as a whole. This leads to longer, and sometimes more intense, exposure to the pollutants inside the home. In addition to the usual suspects ofcarbon monoxide and cigarette smoke, there are many other pollutants that can be harmful to the people living in your home, such as those listed below.
- Dirt and Dust (often filled with fertilizer, pesticides, animal dander, dust mites, and more)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Indoor Wood Smoke
Sensible Solutions for More Breathable Indoor Air
The quality of air inside your home is critical to the physical health and wellbeing of your family. While you can never eliminate all the risks in life, there are steps you can take that will greatly improve the air quality inside your home. The changes below, provide a powerful punch for removing pollutants from the air inside your home – especially when used together.
- Purchase air purifiers. Look for air purifiers with HEPA filters for the best results.
- Make your home a smoke-free zone. Second hand smoke poisons the air inside your home and has been linked to many short and long-term health consequences. If you have smokers that are friends or family members, designate smoking areas outside of your home and away from open windows and doors.
- Vacuum and dust more frequently. Do both of these two to three times per week if possible for optimal results.
- Consider professional carpet and upholstery cleaning. This is something you should do twice a year. Professional carpet cleaners have equipment that reaches deeper than traditional vacuums to remove ground in dirt, pollutants, and allergens.
- Improve your home’s ventilation. Attic fans, whole house fans, garage exhaust fans, and kitchen fan’s are all beneficial ways to add ventilation to your home.
A Word About the Importance of Ventilation
Adequate ventilation is critical for improving indoor air quality for many reasons. Opening windows and doors is a great start, as is using kitchen vents while cooking and bathroom vents while showering. However, whole house fans adds a new dimension of efficiency when it comes to bringing fresh air into the home while drawing polluted air and moisture out of the home.
These simple steps can make indoor air pollution a problem of the past for you and the people you love. Put them to work in your home today and see what a difference they make.