The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned that the indoor air quality (IAQ) in many houses can be five times worse than outdoor air. This fact left us wondering about indoor pollutants that could significantly contribute to poor indoor air quality. Here are the most common things that cause poor IAQ:
1 – Combustion
Combustion can occur from many household goods such as stoves, fireplaces, and heaters. The gas from combustion may carry many kinds of pollutants including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, radon, particulates, and even acid aerosols. It is impossible to avoid the source because most of these items are necessary to sustain our lives. However, you can effectively prevent pollution by providing a proper ventilation system that allows combustion gas to leave the house.
2 – Household Chemicals
Many household goods release toxins without us even realizing it. The most common ones are harsh cleaning agents, wall paints, asbestos, and particle boards. Even the vinyl backing and adhesives on your carpet may release high levels of chemicals. Choosing more natural cleaning products and household materials can make a big difference for your family’s health. It is vital to avoid chemical pollution in your indoor air because some of these chemicals have strong links to cancer and other serious health issues if you are exposed to them in the long term.
3 – Tobacco Smoke
Smoking in your house can be a huge problem for your indoor air quality. The smoke may contain more than 4,000 compounds, with at least 40 of them being carcinogenic. The toxic residue can stay for days or even weeks in your furniture and walls. Even smoking in the house once may trigger health problems for your family. That is why it is better to completely ban cigarettes, cigars, and pipes in your house. But if that is not possible, you might need to have an air purifying system in your house.
4 – Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are dangerous not only for your walls and furniture but also for your body, especially the respiratory system. The microscopic pores in the mold get carried by air. If inhaled, it may trigger allergic reactions, asthma, and other health issues. Maintaining a normal humidity level in your house is the key to preventing mold. Clean every spill and fix any leaks so the mold has no chance to grow. A proper ventilation system can help you avoid excess moisture in your house. Otherwise, you can invest in a dehumidifier to resolve the issue.
Besides mold and mildew, there are many other kinds of biological pollutants that you may be aware of, such as dead skin cells, pet dander, mites, and pests. House dirt can also significantly increase the number of airborne particles in the air.
Many causes of poor indoor air quality are avoidable. There are other efforts you can make to improve the indoor air quality in your house. Keeping your house clean all the time and providing a proper ventilation system are the most effective ways to do this.