According to EPA, he average American spends 90% of their time indoors. Either at home or in the office, for how much time we spend within closed walls indoor air quality should be at center of our attention. Yet most people don’t realize the air quality inside our homes can be much worse than we think.
Depending on the degree and duration of exposure, as well as the type of pollutant inhaled, the effects can vary significantly. In addition to simple symptoms such as coughing and respiratory irritation, air pollution can cause acute conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease, and more serious symptoms such as cardiovascular disease, impaired lung function, and respiratory infections. The World Health Organization (WHO) also indicates links between exposure to air pollution and diabetes, systemic inflammation, and neurodevelopmental disorders in children.
Here are 5 facts about indoor air quality, and what you can do to breathe healthier and safer air in your home.
Indoor air quality is far worse than outdoors.
It may come as a surprise, but indoor air can be much more polluted than the air outside. First and foremost, all of the air inside that accumulates inside our homes comes from the air outside. So naturally, it makes sense that the same air pollutants we find outdoors find their way inside our home as well.
Now think about how many chemicals you use when cleaning, the dust that collects on your furniture, and the pollutants that are released when you cook. Everything you do inside, from vacuum cleaning to frying bacon, has an effect on the air you breathe.
We covered this topic in a post about the Threat of Indoor Air Pollution.
Indoor air pollution seriously affects our health
Air pollutants found outdoors can not only cause harm outside, but are just as bad inside. As mentioned above, the air quality indoors can be just as bad if not worse than outside. Side effects of not breathing clean air include headaches, fatigue, nausea, and even heart and lung diseases or premature death from long term affects.
Air fresheners reduce the air quality dramatically
Although they may smell nice and fresh, all air fresheners and candles do is mask unpleasant smells and add more chemicals to the air you’re breathing. Instead of using air fresheners, opt to try essential oils or wax- made candles that are low in harsh chemicals.
But if you really want to reduce chemicals to a minimum you should really avoid using both.
Ozone can create serious health problems
Many people go for ozone gas generators in their homes to help them eliminate odors, chemicals, or other pollutants. However, health problems such as chest pain, trouble breathing, and coughing have been linked to ozone. These devices have not yet been approved by the EPA so they should be used with great caution.
Improving indoor air quality is quite easy
There are plenty of devices and installments that can be used to improve air quality. Investing in a good air purifier, monitoring the air quality in your home, and getting rid of pollutants that you are causing yourself is a quick and simple way to greatly increase your health at home.
It’s a small investment that will have long lasting effects on your well-being!