The quality of the air you breathe is more important than you might assume. However, it is often overlooked, even though it could significantly affect your overall health.
According to stats, the average American spends 93 percent of their life indoors. Although this is far from being the ideal scenario, it is the striking truth. And, believe it or not, the levels of pollutants in the air are up to five times higher indoors than outdoors, as outlined in this EPA study.
That being said, here’s what you should know on this topic.
The main sources of indoor pollution
As you can see, indoor pollution is just as severe as outdoor pollution – especially since we spend so much time indoors. Still, what are the factors that cause it?
For example, in industrial and highly urbanized areas, high levels of humidity and lack of air conditioning might increase the indoor levels of pollutants. Other sources are the gases derived from heating and cooking, chemicals from household cleaners and candles, mildew and mold and other toxins.
The effects of exposure to indoor toxins
So, how does the exposure to indoor toxins actually affect you? We’ll start with the short-term effects, which are irritated or dry mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, respiratory tract and throat. Other effects worth noting are fatigue, dizziness, fever, forgetfulness, headaches, lethargy and nausea.
As you might assume, the long-term effects are much more severe. Many people might end up suffering from asthma, Legionnaire’s disease, or hypersensitivity pneumonitis. At the same time, this could also affect children, increasing the likelihood of allergies, autism, or developing a hypersensitivity to chemicals.
Eliminating the source of pollution can be of great help
Eliminating some of the sources of indoor pollution can be a first step you can take in order to make the breathable air inside your home safer. That is to say, you should get rid of dangerous synthetic scents.
Every product that contains fragrance or perfume is made from chemicals, for the most part; and those mysterious ingredients are instantly absorbed into your bloodstream, causing you harm.
At the same time, regularly cleaning your air conditioner is just as important. Otherwise, your air conditioning system will just become another source of indoor pollution.
Ventilate on a regular basis
Ventilation is just as critical. Fortunately, it is fairly easy and it can make the world of a difference. According to the American Lung Association, ventilation is a key element to maintaining the indoor air fresh and clean. Bear in mind that heating and cooling systems don’t bring fresh air in. So, make sure you open the doors and windows (in both winter and summer) to allow fresh air to come inside.
Air purifiers can minimize indoor pollution
Another thing that could greatly enhance the quality of the air inside your house is an air purifier. The advantages associated with this are thoroughly researched. Although shopping for air purifiers isn’t a piece of cake, you should pick a quality item, likely to bring great results, but especially pay attention to your necessities and your home characteristics.
Air purifiers aim at removing matriculate matter, thus, clarifying the air from pollutants. Not only that patients suffering from respiratory conditions can benefit from this, but these units play a fundamental role in ensuring your wellbeing and optimal health, as well.
Add the right houseplants to your home
If you’re eager to combat the detrimental consequences of indoor air pollution, you should bring the indoors inside. What better way of doing that but by getting as many helpful houseplants? This is an efficient, natural and fairly easy way of making your house a healthier place to be.
Some of the best houseplants for this purpose are: jade plant, spider plant, dracaena, bromeliad, and the list may go on. The best thing about these plants is that they make your home look cozier while enhancing the air quality.
So, now that you know how indoor pollution affects you, it’s time to take some measures against it. The tips we presented above can be really helpful in this respect. Stay safe and make sure you breathe fresh air!
Written by Patrick Holmes. Patrick is an indoor air quality specialist at Home Air Quality Guides. His passion is to help people create cleaner, healthier and more comforting environments inside their homes by sharing expert advice that’s easy to follow. He enjoys writing in-depth articles on air purification, household cleaning tips, home maintenance advice and more.