3.8 million people die every year due to illnesses attributed to indoor air pollution. While you may expect poor outdoor air quality depending on where you live, the air in your home may also be less safe than you think. A number of contaminants may be affecting your air quality and compromising your family’s health, leading to such illnesses as pneumonia, stroke and heart disease. Take action to improve your indoor air quality, and you’ll be making your home a more safe and healthy environment.
Identify Sources Of Contamination
Take stock of any consumer items you may be using that emit contaminants into the air. Scented candles, air fresheners and aerosol cleaners all release potentially harmful chemicals. However, if you do not have an electric stove or lighting sources, the fuel from cooking, heating and lighting may be the biggest source of contamination in your home. If you smoke, this is another source of contamination that can be mitigated. Finally, moisture can contribute to mold growth, so improper ventilation in the home, especially after a flood, can cause major problems with indoor air quality.
Some homes face more contaminant exposure than others, regardless of your lifestyle or behaviors. Lead and formaldehyde may be present in paint, furniture or building materials. Test for radon, which comes from the earth below your home or building materials. Assess your home and take stock of the various factors that may be contributing to poor air quality and leading to environmental illnesses.
Take Steps To Improve Your Air
By removing pollutants from your household and making efforts to quit smoking or refrain from doing so in your home, you are already improving your air quality in small ways. If you have a gas stove, consider replacing it with an electric one. Another important step is to improve ventilation in your home. Make sure to open windows at least once a day, especially while cooking. Make sure you use air filters, which attach to your furnace or air conditioner unit and make sure that clean air is coming into your home. These filter out dangerous particles, protecting you from respiratory illnesses caused by the environment. You may also consider purchasing an air cleaner on top of everything else in order to add another layer of pollutant-reduction to your living space.
Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality, especially considering how much time you spend at your home. Take measures to ensure that your family is safe and protected from the dangers of indoor pollutants.
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