As you go through your day-to-day life, you are exposed to varying degrees of risk. You feel safer at home or in the office because you are indoors, while you may find yourself covering your nose and mouth when exposed to the pollution outdoors. However, does staying inside really pose fewer health risks than being outside?
Indoor Air Quality Research
Many studies have shown that the air inside your home or another indoor facility could be more harmful than the air outside. Even if you live in an industrial city, the pollution inside your own abode could be worse than the pollution beyond your doors. Research also suggests that human beings spend 90 percent of their time indoors. This means that when your home or facility has bad indoor air quality, you are actually exposed to greater air pollution indoors than you would be outdoors.
Monitoring Indoor Air Quality
Because people spend most of their time cooped up inside, it’s important to maintain good indoor air quality. Exposure to toxic chemicals and contaminants for a long period of time can result in either short-term or long-term illnesses. Children, the elderly, the chronically ill, and those with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases are more susceptible to acquiring illnesses from polluted air.
As a response to this, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) created a booklet called “The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality.” This guides citizens on which actions to take in order to reduce indoor air pollution at home or in buildings.
Taking care of indoor air quality
The aforementioned booklet, “The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality” is available for purchase online. However, if you want to immediately take action before purchasing one, then here are a few tips that could lead you to safe indoor air quality:
• Eliminate sources of pollution
You must first determine the possible sources of pollution in your home or building before you can eliminate them, or at least reduce the emissions being made. It’s better to get rid of the source than to increase ventilation, which can cost more.
• Clean or replace air filters regularly
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system you use at home or at the office, comes with a filter that can collect the pollutants and stop them from spreading further. However, if you don’t clean this filter frequently, the contaminants will find their way back into the air that you breathe.
• Regularly inspect your HVAC unit
It’s better to call licensed professionals to inspect the quality of your HVAC system on a regular maintenance schedule than to allow it to break down or have a family member or officemate get sick due to bad indoor air quality. During these inspections, the technician will be able to identify if your HVAC is working effectively and not promoting the spread of nasty pollutants instead.
Many health issues stem from pollution. This pollution is not only encountered outdoors, but indoors as well. Sure, staying indoors will keep you safe from certain outdoor hazards, but if you’re breathing in toxic particles in enclosed places that you considered safe, then you may not be any safer inside. Make it a point to invest more time and money in ensuring that you are surrounded by clean air, rather than waiting to get infected.