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Exploring The Health Threats Of Poor Indoor Air Quality.

December 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Health, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comThe habits of modern life have meant that we all spend far more time indoors than we do outdoors. Some of that time is spent at work, some at entertainment venues, but the vast majority is spent in our own homes. It is rather worrying, then, to realize that the quality of the air we breathe while at home could be potentially hazardous to health.

How can indoor air quality be dangerous to health?

  • In truth, there is no particular difference between “indoor” and “outdoor” air – it’s all the same air, just in different spaces. As a result, if the outdoor air is potentially dangerous, it naturally follows that indoor air is also. This means that indoor air quality is also impacted by issues such as pollution, especially for those who live close to a busy road.
  • Indoor air quality is also compromised by the introduction of additional contaminants, such as the chemicals in cleaning products, scented candles, and cigarette smoke.
  • Worse yet, as indoor air is somewhat trapped by windows and doors, the contaminants mentioned above cannot disperse as effectively as they could in an open environment, so their levels can become dangerous relatively quickly. This has become a problem in rural areas and in major cities. Indoor Air Quality Testing in California routinely happens, as the state pollution levels are at an all-time high.

Is indoor air quality really that concerning?

In a word, yes; the World Health Organization believes that 4 million people worldwide die every year due to illnesses attributable to poor indoor air quality. While burning the occasional scented candle is unlikely, in and of itself, to cause harm to health, indoor air quality genuinely is a concern – especially considering outdoor air quality is also poor. Essentially, unless you live in a rural area, no air is technically “safe” to breathe, and the continual exposure to harmful contaminants is very much a cause for concern. 

How can indoor air quality be improved?

  • If you live near a busy road, consider an air purifier, and try to keep your home’s windows and doors closed during rush hours
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes indoors – or ideally, stop smoking altogether; you can try purchasing a vape pen and good cheap vape juice to assist with stop-smoking efforts if preferred
  • If you do want to use scented candles or home fragrancing, ensure your home is aired out after use to ensure the potential contaminants can effectively disperse
  • Certain plants have been shown to help improve indoor air quality, so it may be worth considering adding one or two suitable plants to each room
  • Some people believe that burning natural, unscented beeswax candles can be beneficial for air quality; there’s relatively little scientific data to back this up, but there’s no harm in giving it a try
  • Switch to stick deodorants rather than aerosols in order to limit the number of chemicals in the air
  • Be cautious with new furniture; many items, such as mattresses and sofas, will be coated in fire-retardant chemicals that can be harmful to health, so try not to introduce lots of new items at once
  • Consider a radon detector, particularly for rooms – such as the basement and kitchen – that are more prone to humidity issues
  • If you live near a busy road, consider an air purifier as an air purifier filters the air in your home to improve indoor air quality. Also, try to keep your home’s windows and doors closed during rush hours.

In conclusion

The battle against air quality does not just apply to outdoor air; the air in your own home could potentially be harmful to health. As a result, it’s helpful to consider implementing the ideas above in order to ensure you and your family are as protected as possible from any potential issues in this regard.

Staff Writer; Harry Ford

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