Protect Your Family From These 4 Potent Indoor Air Pollutants
As homeowners, we often try to create a healthy and clean environment for our family. But despite our best efforts, our indoor air quality can often be more polluted than the air outside, putting our family’s health at risk. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollutants are one of the top five environmental risks to public health. In this blog post, we will discuss four potent indoor air pollutants that you need to protect your family from, and how to prevent them from harming your loved ones.
How to protect your family from exposure
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the soil and can seep into homes through cracks and gaps. It is one of the leading causes of lung cancer among non-smokers, and the second leading cause among smokers. The only way to know if your home has radon is to test for it. The EPA recommends testing your home every two years, and if levels are high, installing a mitigation system to reduce the levels.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals in products such as paints, cleaners, and building materials that can off-gas into the air. Prolonged exposure to these VOCs can lead to headaches, dizziness, and respiratory problems. To reduce VOCs in your home, choose low-VOC products when possible, increase ventilation, and use air purifiers with activated carbon filters that can absorb VOCs from the air.
Examples of products with VOCs :
- cleaning products
- building materials
- furniture and carpets aerosol sprays.
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in moist environments such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Inhaling mold spores can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and even lead to neurological issues. The best way to prevent mold growth is to reduce moisture levels in your home by fixing leaks, using exhaust fans, and keeping humidity levels between 30% to 50%.
4. Particulate Matter
Particulate Matter (PM) is tiny particles that are smaller than 2.5 microns and can be inhaled deep into the lungs. Exposure to PM can lead to lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. To reduce PM levels in your home, avoid smoking indoors, use clean-burning stoves, and use a high-efficiency air filter to trap PM particles.
Sources of PM include:
- Tobacco smoke- Secondhand tobacco smoke is one the most dangerous indoor air pollutants there is. Smoke from cigarettes contains around 200 known poisons, including 60 carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals). If someone smokes inside your house, poisons ranging from formaldehyde to carbon monoxide may be lingering in the air.
- Wood burning stoves- using wood can create PM and other pollutants, such as carbon monoxide. It’s important to have a proper chimney or venting system and to have your stove regularly cleaned and maintained.
- Construction activities Vehicles- activities like vehicle exhaust, painting, and power plants can also release particulate matter into the air. By taking the steps outlined above, you can reduce your family’s exposure to indoor air pollutants and create a safe and healthy environment in your home.
Indoor air pollutants can have serious consequences for the health of your family, but taking measures to reduce and prevent these pollutants can keep your loved ones safe and healthy. By testing for radon, choosing low-VOC products, reducing moisture levels to prevent mold growth, and using air filters to reduce PM levels, you can create a clean and healthy environment for your family to thrive in. Remember, the air you breathe at home is just as important as the air you breathe outside, so take the necessary steps to protect your family from indoor air pollutants.