Three Strategies for Improving Indoor Air Quality
Even if your home looks fresh and clean, indoor air pollution could be creating health risks for you and your family.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality can be adversely affected when pollution sources release gases or particles into the air in your home*.
Know the Key Culprits Affecting Indoor Air Quality
The American Lung Association reports that a variety of substances can affect indoor air quality. Take a look at these indoor air pollutants and the common sources for them in your home*.
Biological Pollutants. Composed of living things (or produced by living things), common biological pollutants are mold, dust mites, pet dander, cockroach droppings or their body parts, rodents, insects, viruses and bacteria.
Secondhand Smoke. Created when tobacco is burned in cigarettes, cigars and pipes, secondhand smoke can worsen asthma symptoms and can increase the incidence of bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, ear infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in children.
Combustion Pollutants. Gases or airborne particles created by burning materials such as wood, oil, gas, kerosene and coal, common combustible pollutants can come from gas stoves, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, water heaters and clothes dryers.
Radon. A radioactive gas that occurs naturally, radon can seep into your home through cracks in the foundation or walls that are in contact with the soil, with health consequences from long-term exposure.
Asbestos. A mineral fiber desirable for its strength and heat-resistant properties, asbestos is known to cause lung cancer and other serious lung conditions. Common sources of asbestos in the home are in roofing shingles, ceiling tiles and various heat-resistant fabrics, coatings and packaging.
Chemical Pollutants. A significant source of formaldehyde in the home comes from pressed-wood products made with urea-formaldehyde (UF) resin, such as particle board, hardwood plywood paneling and medium-density fiberboard used in furniture, cabinetry, sub-flooring, paneling and shelving. Numerous other harsh chemicals are used in everyday cleaning products, paints, hobby glues and solvents, pool and garden chemicals, personal care products and air fresheners.
Achieve Healthier Indoor Air
We could come into contact with dozens of pollutants before we even have our first cup of coffee each morning, but there are steps you can take to reduce the pollutants in your home. Implement these three simple strategies to improve indoor air quality and you'll be well on your way to helping create a healthier home:
By being aware of the sources of indoor air pollution and taking simple steps to reduce or eliminate them, you can be well on your way to enjoying fresher, healthier air in your home.