Causes of Indoor Air Pollution: The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air pollution claims over 1.6 million lives each year. It’s considered a major environmental problem worldwide as it can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and lung cancer.
The average American spends about 90 percent of his time indoors. According to EPA, indoor pollution levels can be up to five times higher compared to the outdoors.
Cigarette smoke, molds, and bacteria are all common causes of indoor air pollution. The good news is, most of these factors are under your control.
Whatever the cause, being able to identify indoor air pollutants can have a positive impact on your health. Read on to find out more!
Common Causes of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution can have a multitude of causes, from dust mites and pet dander to cleaning products and tobacco smoke. When inhaled, these compounds may affect lung function and wreak havoc on your immune system.
Household cleaners, for example, contain dangerous chemicals. Ammonia, sodium hypochlorite, and bleach are just a few to mention. Regular exposure to these substances may put you at risk for asthma, dermatitis, eye irritation, and allergies.
Even if you’re not a smoker, you may still encounter problems from inhaling secondhand smoke. As the American Cancer Society points out, there is no safe level of exposure.
Secondhand smoke contains about 7,000 chemicals, from which more than 70 are carcinogenic. Over time, these toxins may increase your risk of bladder, throat, larynx, and breast cancer.
Children are particularly susceptible to the side effects of secondhand smoke and may develop brain tumors, leukemia, and lung infections. If you have asthma, your symptoms may worsen.
Your home or workplace contains the same pollutants you have outside plus those you bring inside the building. Furthermore, buildings are tightly sealed, so these chemicals remain inside.
What Can You Do About It?
Indoor air affects every aspect of your health. It impacts your lungs, skin, immune system, brain, and energy levels.
Simple things, such as installing quality air filtration systems and air cleaners, can significantly improve indoor air quality. As a rule of thumb, humidity levels should be maintained between 30 and 50 percent.
Take air filtration systems, for example. These devices clean the air by passing it through filters that remove dirt, debris, dust, and pet fur. HEPA filters are more complex and can remove fine articles more efficiently.
If you’re not sure what kind of device you need, reach out to a plumbing and heating contractor. He or she can assess indoor air quality in your home or office and recommend the best course of action.
Also, it’s important that you change your air filters regularly. If you’re dealing with high humidity levels, consider getting a dehumidifier. Have your air conditioning system checked at least once a year to make sure the filters are free of debris and molds.
Improve Indoor Air Quality for Better Health
Now that you know more about the causes of indoor air pollution, take the steps needed to remedy this problem. Keep your house clean, invest in an air purifier, and install a dehumidifier in damp areas to prevent mold growth.
To find out more about the importance of air quality, contact us today! Our team provides quick turnaround and emergency services to keep your home in top shape year-round.