Did you know that the estimated premature deaths due to ambient or outdoor air pollution reach up to 4.2 million per year? Around 3.8 million people die because of indoor air pollution. With this said, it’s essential that you get the best indoor air quality services possible.
Indoor air pollution is not a new occurrence. Human practices such as burning coal, peat, or wood to generate heat have been in existence for centuries. Since most people spend around 80% of their time indoors, whether commuting, at work, or at home, it can be beneficial to employ means to improve air quality.
How to Reduce Air Pollution Indoors
History of Air Pollution
Before any attempts to reduce indoor air pollution, it can be helpful if you know when indoor air quality really began to affect the health of every individual. It was in the 1970s when the dangers of tobacco smoke and radon (a radioactive gas) affected the lives of many.
Radon occurs naturally and can lead to lung cancer. It is inactive, colorless, and odorless. This radioactive gas can be found in trace levels of the atmosphere. For outdoors, such odors dissipate quickly and are not a health hazard. However, this is not the case when radon is trapped indoors.
The majority of radon exposure takes place in workplaces, schools, and households. After entering these areas through cracks and other openings in the foundation, it becomes trapped inside. However, indoor radon can be managed and regulated using cost-effective and proven methods.
Aside from radon and tobacco smoke, there is also this so-called “sick building syndrome.” It is a health condition wherein building occupants suffer from acute illnesses and discomforts that appear to be connected to time spent in the establishment. This syndrome is often directly linked to airborne building contaminants.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, causes of sick building syndrome include the following:
Biological contaminants – Viruses, pollen, molds, and bacteria are the types of biological contaminants. Most of these contaminants breed where water has gathered on the insulation system, carpeting, and ceiling tiles. It may also be found in stagnant water that has collected in drain pans, humidifiers, and ducts.
Chemical pollutants from outdoor sources – Outdoor air pollutants coming from building exhausts, plumbing vents, and motor vehicle exhausts can enter your home through windows, vents, and other openings.
Chemical pollutants from indoor sources – Aside from the two sources mentioned above, the majority of indoor pollutants come from sources found inside. An example of which are cleaning agents that exude volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde. Indoor chemical pollutants may also come from pesticides, copy machines, manufactured wood products, upholstery, carpeting, and adhesives.
Why Contemporary Homes Are So Polluted
Furniture, perfumes, smoking, cleaning, cooking, and heating are all sources of contaminants in contemporary homes. Particles are stirred up simply by moving around. Demands to increase energy efficiency in buildings are accompanied by concerns that more airtight homes will have a negative impact on indoor environmental quality.
Volatile compounds from odors used in customary cleaners, radon, formaldehyde, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and particles (microscopic fragments of liquid or solid debris) may already exist in your home. Apart from these contaminants, there are also bioaerosols, otherwise known as biological contaminants.
Reducing Air Contaminants at Home
Albeit the inevitability of indoor pollutants, there are numerous ways to lessen your exposure:
Do as what the elders did – Open your windows to enhance the ventilation of your home. If you’re cooking, it is essential to use the kitchen exhaust fan to reduce the levels of fumes such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide.
Don’t use candles or smoke indoors – Wood-burning fireplace creates excellent aesthetics to your home, but it also results in some cons - one of which is poor indoor air quality. Hence, if you have this type of fireplace, make sure that it’s used and fitted correctly. You can also purchase a carbon monoxide detector, so you’ll be informed of the ratio that remains in your home. In a year, approximately 400 Americans die from this odorless or colorless gas. These incidents usually happen in cars and closed households.
Opt for hard-surface floors – Hardwood is an all-natural and durable material that doesn’t contain or store volatile compounds. To enhance indoor air quality, see to it that you apply water-based polyurethane finish. Aside from bacteria and contaminant prevention, hard-surface floors are easier to clean.
Maintain a humidity level of 30 to 50 percent in your home – Likewise, make sure moist areas, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, are properly ventilated. This aids in the prevention of mold, which has been associated with upper respiratory issues. Babies, toddlers, the elderly, and individuals with respiratory concerns such as asthma and allergies are more sensitive than others. They are the ones who will be greatly affected when indoor air quality is not improved.
Get some indoor plants – Since the pandemic, more and more people have bought and cared for indoor plants as a pastime. Studies performed by the University of York and NASA found that house plants can decrease levels of formaldehyde indoors.
Avoid using air fresheners or cleaning products that have limonene content – It is a chemical that comes from the peels of citric fruits and other acidic plants. Although it is sometimes used in medicines, it can cause detrimental effects when used in cleaning products.
Place a doormat before every door in your home, especially in your front door – Mats prevent dust and dirt from getting inside your home. If possible, you can ask your guests to take off their shoes when entering your humble home.
When cleaning your tables, try to use a microfiber dusting cloth – It will prevent the dust from flying every time you wipe your desks and other dusty furniture.
Looking for Exceptional Indoor Air Quality Services?
At Eagle X Pro, our mission is to offer the most state-of-the-art technological solutions to mitigate the risks associated with airborne pathogens in your home. See our professionals today!