Are you aware that air pollution indoors is as dangerous as outdoor air pollution? In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency comments that air pollution in your home can be 5 times higher compared outside. This is an alarming statement in that most people assume that their homes are a haven from pollution.
To fight against indoor air pollution and keep your home safe, we have to identify the culprits in our own homes.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
What? Aren’t they supposed to do just the opposite? Well, according to the American Lung Association, air purifiers that use ozone to “purify” the air are doing more harm than good. They said that ozone can scar lung tissue, trigger asthma and coughing and may shorten one’s life. Moreover, they even published a list of air purifiers to avoid.
Carpets and rugs add a dash of personality into any indoor space. But what most do not realize it adds a dash on dust, mites, dirt, fungus and other particles that can pollute your indoor air. Moreover, depending on the type of carpet that you have, you may be exposing your self and your family to harmful chemicals. Some carpets have formaldehydes that can cause irritations to the nasal passage. According to EPA, this substance can even cause cancer.
Regardless where you smoke, you expose yourself and the people around you to harmful fumes and smoke. Smoking can obviously lower the air quality in your home. When you enter a house, you’ll easily know when someone smokes in it. The air is filled with the stench.
Cleaning agents and fresheners
It’s counterintuitive to add these items to the list. But this is why you should know this even more. Many cleaning agents and air fresheners only worsens the air quality in your home. Sure, they temporarily mask the odors.
For example, chlorine-based cleaners offer a quick way to remove dirt and stains. But chlorine is a dangerous chemical. Just a warning to all readers out there: Never combine chlorine products with acidic substances. This will release the chlorine into the air more rapidly.
Combat indoor Air Pollution
Here are some suggestions on how to keep your home free from indoor air pollution. Some maybe applicable and some may not. Just choose the ones that you think can best improve your indoor air quality.
- Do not smoke. Ditch this habit and save the cash and your lungs. You’ll even save the people around you from lung cancer.
- Read the labels of cleaners and air fresheners. Moreover, follow the instructions to the letter to ensure that you don’t put your family at risk.
- Regularly clean your carpets and rugs. Even the stuffed toys on your bed should get regular cleaning and dusting.
- Use environmentally sound equipment. Read the specifications of any appliance you will purchase and more importantly research about it before you buy.
It is surprising and alarming that even inside our homes we are still at risk from indoor air pollution. What is important is that we educate ourselves at the risks we face. Moreover, we have to act immediately to ensure that we live in a safe home. Air pollution is not just outside. We expose ourselves to its dangers even in the “safety” of our own homes.
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