According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend 90% of their time inside. Unfortunately, spending so much time inside means there are serious concerns about indoor air quality.
In fact, the EPA says some pollutants have concentrations 2-5 times higher indoors than their typical outdoor concentrations.
While there are many different causes of home air pollution, there are also several ways you can monitor and clean the air in your home.
Continue reading this article to learn about the sources of home air pollution and solutions to keep your home clean.
Sources of Home Air Pollution
The most well-known sources of home air pollution are bacteria, dust, mold, and pet dander. But some of the most dangerous sources of home air pollution are asbestos, carbon monoxide, and lead.
Asbestos is useful because it is soft, flexible, and resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion. Unfortunately, that also makes it very toxic. Asbestos is responsible for causing the rare cancer mesothelioma.
Anything that burns material creates carbon monoxide. This includes clothes dryers, water heaters, furnaces, gas stoves, and much more. Houses without proper ventilation are subject to cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Even though the US banned lead-based paints in 1978, they remain on the walls of homes all across the country.
Lesser-known types of home air pollutants are chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Cleaning and household products cause chemical pollution in the home.
Thousands of indoor and outdoor products contain volatile chemicals.
Additionally, VOCs from groundwater and soil can migrate through the subsurface and into indoor areas. When VOCs get trapped inside, their concentration can rise quickly.
Effects of Air Pollution
The type of pollution you are exposed to, the toxicity level, and the duration of time will all affect the damage to your health.
You may first experience moderate irritation to your eyes, nose, and throat. Over time the symptoms can get worse to include dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
Prolonged poor indoor air quality can cause infections, lung diseases like asthma, and lung cancer.
Solutions to Home Air Pollution
Regular cleaning is an easy and effective way to keep common pollutants out of the house. If you have pets or carpeted rooms, or are sensitive to dust, clean more frequently.
Always have a carbon monoxide detector installed. Carbon monoxide doesn’t have a smell, so it isn’t easy to detect.
Before moving to a new place, check the history and paperwork of the house to get information about asbestos and lead use. Then, if necessary, you can test the property for these materials with the help of professionals.
Check the supplies you use in your home for dangerous chemicals. You can clean your home safely with special non-toxic cleaners and detergents.
There are a few vapor intrusion mitigation strategies to deal with VOCs. For example, you can dig out the contaminated soil or install a ventilation system. However, the best option is to invest in a cost effective vapor intrusion system.
Breathe Clean Air Today
The evidence is clear how harmful home air pollution can be for your health. Therefore, an important part of home safety is keeping your home clean and monitoring any air quality changes.
It can save your life. If you found this article helpful, find more like it in the Home Improvement section listed under the Lifestyle tab of our website.