Indoor air pollution is a serious threat to human health, and in many cases, is even more dangerous than outdoor pollution. From simple eye and throat irritation to long-term respiratory illnesses, poor air quality in your home must be taken seriously.
This guide to the effects of indoor air pollution will explain why indoor pollution must be taken seriously and what you need to know to mitigate the risks. You’ll learn all about early warnings signs, steps to take for a clean environment, and much more….
It is estimated that 90% of our lives are spent indoors in both private and public spaces (the gym, office, school, etc.). With that taken into account, indoor air quality (IAQ) is an extremely important factor of overall human health.
In fact, with so much time begin spent indoors, indoor air pollution can pose even greater risks than outdoor air pollution, since it’s much easier to avoid breathing that air.
Even something as simple as a mold spore can combine with other outdoor and indoor pollutants to create a toxic environment.
We’ll explain how you can avoid this issue, maintain a clean indoor environment, and protect yourself and your loved one from harm.
Why is Indoor Air Pollution Such an Issue?
Federal scientists have ranked indoor air pollution as one of the greatest threats to our health.
Common pollutants such as tobacco smoke, mold, chemical emissions, animal dander, and carbon monoxide can contribute to unhealthy environments that cause both short and long-term health issues.
Vulnerable groups such as children, the sick, and the elderly are at considerable risk in these environments. Sometimes the symptoms go unnoticed until years after exposure has begun.
Outdoor pollutants can easily seep into the home where they combine with indoor ones. This creates a toxic environment where we end up spending the majority of our time.
You must take immediate steps to control risk factors. It starts with understanding volatile organic compounds.
Let us explain…
What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are organic compounds that can easily become vapors or gasses.
They enter the body through both inhalation and skin contact. These compounds can be especially dangerous to people with asthma and the elderly.
Here are some IMMEDIATE steps you can take to reduce exposure:
Immediate Signs of Exposure
The symptoms of poor indoor air quality vary, and so does the severity of exposure. However, some telltale signs of exposure include:
Of course, these could be regular allergens or the common cold. However, if symptoms persist and you also have certain risk factors for poor indoor air quality, the possibility must be considered. Always consult a physician.
Long-Term Health Effects
The long-term health effects of exposure to indoor air pollution also vary, but they must be taken seriously.
Some more mild effects include:
More severe issues can range from lung disease to hearing loss.
Mold and Your Health
Mold thrives in moist environments, and when a building becomes consumed by mold, it creates health problems that must be addressed quickly.
Mold produces allergens that can have acute effects on human health and even lead to long-term issues. Certain risk factors for mold include:
It’s important to properly clean up when water spills and to always fix plumbing issues as soon as they arise.
Why An Air Purifier is the Best Solution
Indoor air pollution is a complex problem with a simple solution: an air purifier. Air purifiers are advanced air filtration systems that remove particulate matter from the air, making it safe to breathe.
These machines come with specially designed filters that catch dangerous particles down to only a few microns in size and replace dirty, dangerous air with healthy, clean air. Science has not only proven how effective they are, but it has also demonstrated their health benefits for people with asthma or cardiovascular disease (source).
You must first take the steps to clean your environment and reduce VOCs in your home that you control (smoke, chemical products, mold, etc.). From there, managing your air quality using an air purifier will significantly reduce particulate matter and allergens.
Do Air Purifiers Really Work?
Yes, they do. In fact, there is scientific evidence for their effectiveness for helping patients with allergic respiratory disease (source) as well as other research that proves their efficacy.
The most effective purifiers are ones with HEPA filters. The downside is that these are normally only effective for single-room use, so you may need multiple. Don’t worry, it’s easy to measure a room and select one with the proper power. That way, it can effectively clean the air and help you or your children breathe and sleep better.
HEPA filters work by using a fan to force air through a fine mesh that then traps harmful particles like tobacco smoke, pet dander, pollen, or dust mites.
Indoor air pollution is an issue that must be taken seriously. If you or your loved ones have been experiencing prolonged symptoms, it’s time to take action. You must first control the risk factors within your home. From there, a HEPA air filter can help you breathe better, healthier air immediately.