Indoor Air Pollutants May Make You Sick.

Generally people spend more 90% of their time indoors, half of that in their homes.

The air inside your home is two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. Studies by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) consistently rank indoor pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health.

Polluted air costs the nation twelve billion dollars a year in medical costs and lost productivity. People especially at risk include asthmatics and allergy sufferers, people with compromised immune systems, lung symptoms and children.

For most of the population, for whom indoor air pollution is not immediately debilitating, unhealthy environments, whether at home, school or work, can none the less cause minor symptoms, reduce quality of life, increase medical costs, increase accident risk and reduce productivity.

Exposure to poor indoor air quality standards can cause headaches, fatigue, sinus congetion, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, eye nose throat and skin irritation, dizziness, nausea and heightened asthma and allergy symptoms.

Breathe cleaner, fresher and healthier air.

Every home contains air borne pollutants either biological or chemical.

Biological pollutants originate from living or once living organisms such as dust mite, pet dander (skin, hair, feather particles), pollen and can also include gases or particles such as mould spores, fungi, bacteria, viruses.

The pollutants are often invisible and contribute to poor indoor air quality. When air borne, they cause an unhealthy affect and can be inhaled into your lungs.

Biological organisms require nutrients, moisture and limited ventilation to thrive. Sources include:

  • mattresses, carpets and furnishings
  • inadequately maintained appliances such as air circulation and dehumidification systems
  • unventilated and unclean bathrooms
  • damp or flooded floors and basements

Adverse health effects depend on the type and amount of biological pollutant and at the same time, the individuals’ own sensitivities.

Allergic reactions are the most common response, in particular to dustmite, pet hair and pollen. The repsonse can vary from mildly uncomfortable to life threatening as in severe asthma. Breathing is made difficult for people with sensitive airways, due to the narrowing of the airway in repsonse to the trigger.

Other repsones include flu, unable to stop coughing, infectious diseases, coughing mucus and toxic reactions affecting any one of the body organs.

Chemical pollutants origninate from gases or particles such as carbon monoxide and soot.

Common sources include:

  • oil and gas appliances
  • second hand tobacco smoke
  • paints, felt tip markers, correction fluids
  • pesticides
  • scents, personal care products
  • household products like cleaners and freshners
  • volatile organic compounds (VOC) found in some furniture, paint, adhesives, solvents, upholstery, drapes, carpet, clothing, construction material
Carol Parr

Author Carol Parr

Carol Parr is a Building Biologist and Healthy Home Wizard. She has worked with asthma and allergy sufferers in their homes and work places for over twenty years, specialising in mould, dust mites, chemicals, EMFs and WiFi. When she’s not turning unhealthy rooms into healthier, relaxing and productive spaces, she’s most likely frightening her husband and their children with numerous “let’s see what this does when …” projects.

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