You might think that you are safe from pollution when you go inside your home. However, indoor sources of pollution can be just as harmful to your health as outdoor air pollution sources. Pollutants like dust mites and mold are in the air we breathe all day long, so it is essential to clean up these pollutants before they cause more severe health problems. This article will discuss different types of contaminants found in homes and how to get them out for better indoor air quality!
Sneaky Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Construction dust, ground-in dirt, and particles from indoor cooking are all familiar sources of pollution. If you have hardwood floors in your home, there will likely be a layer of dusty debris on the bottom when construction workers leave for the day—especially if they patched drywall or tiling! You can always sweep these indoor air pollutants up and dispose of them outside with a leaf blower. It’s important to remember not to use any area rugs near an open window as this might lead to cross-contamination1 between inside and out (i.e., bugs).
#01. Lemony Fresh Products
You may have noticed that your cleaning products contain a lot of additives. Conventional window cleaners, for example, often use ammonia and alcohol as ingredients. So it’s not unheard of for a window cleaner to contain an ammonia-alcohol mix. Unfortunately, these chemicals are also present in many household cleaning products, including air fresheners and the popular Lemony Fresh dishwashing liquid!
The thing is that when you combine these ingredients with citrus flavors like lemon or lime (think: Lemony Fresh), the chemical reactions can produce a poisonous gas called chloramine2. So, if you’re not careful about how and when you use your cleaning products together, well, then this is all too easy to happen.
#02. Ozone Generating Air Cleaners
Ozone-generating3 air cleaners are one of the worst sources of indoor pollution. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer that destroys many organic compounds, including those critical to human health, such as nitrosamines and benzene compounds. Not only does it kill healthy bacteria in your respiratory system, but ozone can also lead to increased burning sensations and lung diseases.
#03. Third-hand Smoke
Cigarette smoke is the residue that builds up on surfaces and furniture after someone smokes in a room. It contains toxins like nicotine, lead, formaldehyde, benzene compounds – all of which are harmful to human health.
These chemicals can linger on furniture, clothes, and curtains for up to two months.
The third-hand inhalation of these compounds contributes to respiratory infections and disease development in children with asthma; it also increases their risk of a heart attack in adult men by 40%.
#04. Formaldehyde & Wood Smoke Pollution
Formaldehyde4 is a gas that comes from the everyday use of building materials, paint, and solvents – smokers also emit it. It can irritate your eyes, nose, or throat, while exposure over time may lead to an increased risk for cancer.
Wood smoke is the chemical released when wood or other natural products are burned for heat, cooking, and industry. It can cause coughing and wheezing in children and adults with asthma and worsen symptoms of chronic bronchitis.
Solutions for Cleaning Up Your Home’s Indoor Air Pollution
- Create an open space for cooking using a range hood that vents smoke, grease, and odors outside the home. It is essential to keep this area as clean as possible by wiping down any surfaces after every use with soap and water or high-quality disinfectant wipes. For those who like to cook in their kitchen, it may be easier to purchase a stovetop cleaner, so there’s no need to scrub anything!
- Keep areas where people spend most of their time—such as bedrooms and living rooms—as well ventilated as possible at all times. This might mean adding another fan if you only have one; having windows open on opposite sides of each other can also help improve air circulation.
- Replace your vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to help remove particles from the air.
- Get an indoor electronic plant for decoration or as an oxygen supplier.
- Use open window shades instead of closed curtains to keep fresh air flowing in and out of your home, especially if you have any cooking going on inside (and not to cross-contaminate).
- Remove carpets near exterior windows due to cross-contamination risk.
- This might mean adding another fan if you only have one; having windows open on opposite sides of each other can also help improve air circulation.
- Use a HEPA filter. These filters are designed to trap the fine particles that contribute to indoor air pollution and save you money on energy bills by reducing your use of heating, cooling, or ventilation systems.
How Can We Prevent Indoor Pollution?
HEPA filters and natural plants trap the particles that contribute to indoor pollution and are an excellent way of reducing them.
Please don’t forget – you can use cross-contamination prevention methods, such as wearing a face mask when around sick people or cleaning surfaces with a disinfectant after being in contact with those who have been infected.
What Causes the Poor Air Quality in the Home?
High levels of dust in the environment, which can worsen asthma and allergies.
Poor air circulation due to recirculated indoor air or inadequate ventilation.
Improperly maintained heating and cooling systems that produce excessive carbon dioxide emissions.
What Are Some Excellent Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home?
Add plants to increase the number of oxygen molecules. Keep an open window or a vent on when cooking and use an exhaust fan over stove surfaces and sinks. Unplug electronics that are not being used to keep them from emitting excess heat and toxins into the air (your television should be off unless you’re watching it).
In addition to these steps, try not to use personal care products with many synthetic fragrances or ingredients. Instead, clean up your home by choosing natural cleaners and air fresheners with essential oils to give you the aroma you want while also improving indoor air quality.
How Can Cleaning Supplies, Household Products Affect Health?
Inhaling or absorbing harsh chemicals from cleaners, air fresheners, and personal care products have led to many health problems.
Some synthetic ingredients can cause headaches, nausea, eye irritation, and sensitization reactions in exposed people with asthma or allergies.
Indoor air pollution is a serious issue; it can lead to various health risks like heart disease, respiratory disease, and lung conditions. The sources of indoor pollution are numerous, but there are many ways to reduce them with the help of HEPA filters, cross-contamination prevention methods, and more natural plants around your home.