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Quality of Air in Your Home & How It Can Affect You

Are you worried about the air you breathe?

It is a common misconception that being in-door is as safe as compared to outside. This claim is further supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stating “the air in homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air”.

Indoor air pollution can cause big health problems. People who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for longer periods are often those most at risk to the effects of indoor air pollution. This includes children, older adults, and people with long-term (chronic) illnesses.

Most indoor air pollution comes from sources that release gases or particles into the air. Things such as building materials and air fresheners give off pollution constantly. Other sources such as tobacco smoke and wood-burning stoves also cause indoor pollution. Some indoor air pollutants have been around for years. But they often were weakened by outdoor air seeping into the home. Today’s more energy-efficient homes don’t let as much outdoor air get inside.

Indoor pollutants

These are other common household air pollutants:

  • Particulates. These include dust and pollen.
  • Formaldehyde. This is a common preservative and adhesive in furniture, carpets, drapes, particleboard, and plywood paneling. Breathing formaldehyde fumes can cause coughing, rashes, headaches, dizziness, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
  • Household products. These include personal care products, pesticides, household cleaners, solvents, and chemicals used for hobbies. Exposure to these products can cause dizziness, nausea, allergic reactions, cancer, and irritated eyes, skin, and lungs. Some cleaning products can produce poisonous fumes. Never mix chlorine bleach and ammonia.
  • Remodeling hazards. These include new carpeting and paint. They can give off fumes that irritate the eyes, nose, and throat.
  • Asbestos. This may be from insulation, floor tiles, spackling compounds, cement, and heating equipment. These products can be a problem indoors only if the material that contains the asbestos is disturbed and becomes airborne. This also happens when the product falls apart with age. Asbestos fibers are light, flexible, and small enough to stay in the air. So the fibers can be breathed in. This causes lung tissue scarring and lung cancer.
  • Lead. This was common in paint made before 1978.
  • Pesticides. Exposure to these can occur through the normal use of sprays, strips filled with pesticides, and foggers (also called bombs). Exposure can also occur after using contaminated dust. This is especially true for children who may be in close contact with contaminated surfaces. Symptoms can include headache, dizziness, muscle weakness, and nausea. Some pesticides may cause cancer.

Need Help?

Keeping the air in your home pure and breathable requires diligence and preventative maintenance. Consider setting up an appointment with Steamates. We have a range of service plans that include deep cleaning, home cleaning, and commercial cleaning plans to help keep your air clean. Contact Steamates today and breathe easy knowing the air in your home is clean and safe.

References:

Vilˇceková, S.; Apostoloski, I.Z.; Meˇciarova, L.; Burdová, E.K.; Kiselák, J. Investigation of Indoor Air Quality in Houses of Macedonia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017,14, 37.

La Guardia, M.J.; Schreder, E.D.; Using, N.; Hale, R.C. Human Indoor Exposure to Airborne Halogenated Flame Retardants: Influence of Airborne Particle Size. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 507.

Chen, Y.; Sung, F.; Chen, M.; Mao, I. Indoor Air Quality in the Metro System in North Taiwan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016 13, 1200.

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