Home is where you go to relax, recharge and enjoy time with family, friends and pets. It’s the one place in which you hope to enjoy a consistently safe, comfortable and healthy environment. We Americans spend on average around 90 percent of our time indoors according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and a good portion of that is in our homes. EPA studies have indicated that indoor air pollution is at least double and may be up to five times that of outdoor air pollution. Since pollution has such negative health effects on humans and pets, it’s clear that better air purification in the home is a goal worth striving for.
Poor Indoor Air Quality: Causes and Consequences
The American Lung Association lists the most common indoor air pollutants including:
- Biological pollutants such as mold, pollen, pet dander and dust mites.
- Secondhand tobacco smoke.
- Combustion pollutants from sources that burn oil, gas, coal, wood or other fuels such as scented candles.
- Formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds found in sources such as carpet glue, particle board, paints, plywood, solvents, household cleaners, pesticides and personal care products.
What does all this mean for you and your home health? Most experts including those at the EPA and ALA agree that these indoor pollutants contribute to a higher incidence of colds and infections, lung cancer, asthma and other chronic lung conditions, sinus and nasal problems, dry eyes, allergies, nausea, headaches, fatigue and dizziness. Children and those with pre-existing health challenges are often the most adversely affected.
Solutions to Healthier Indoor Air
Your first line of defense for better air purification is to stop as many sources of indoor air pollution as you can by opting for low-voc building materials and cleaning products, by opening windows for fresh air in good weather, and by forbidding tobacco smoke in the home. For permanent, professional solutions, check out our indoor air quality page that reviews a number of products to improve your home’s indoor air quality or contact us at 847-637-5287.