How Does Indoor Air Pollution Impact My Health?
When you mention air pollution, most people think about car emissions, smog, or billowing plumes of smoke rising into the sky. However, did you know that indoor air quality in your Palm Desert, California, home can be worse than outdoor air? There are many reasons for this, such as the use of air fresheners, household cleaning chemicals, poor ventilation, and even burning candles. Here’s how indoor air pollution can affect your health:
Causes of Indoor Air Pollution
Toxic products or chemicals, like radon, are common causes of indoor air pollution. Radon, which is commonly found underneath your home in different types of bedrock or building materials, can get into your walls, putting your family at risk. Tobacco smoke is another dangerous pollutant. Cleaning products, paints, varnishes, and air fresheners cause indoor air pollution as well.
Formaldehyde and asbestos are also indoor pollutants. Although formaldehyde is no longer produced in the U.S, you can find it on wooden floors, in sealants, and in paints. Asbestos is a leading cause of indoor air pollution, although it is now banned in the U.S. If you live in an older home, the risk is higher for asbestos than in a newer home.
Additionally, high temperatures, humidity, and inadequate airflow can lead to indoor air pollution. Certain pollutants can grow in your humid environments in your home, whether they are brought in from outside or not. These pollutants include dust mites, animal dander, and biological growth.
Effects of Indoor Air Pollution
Some health effects are immediately evident after a short or single exposure to a pollutant. For example, you may feel some irritation in your eyes, throat, or nose. You may also get a headache or experience dizziness or fatigue. Other immediate effects of indoor air pollution include asthma symptoms.
Respiratory diseases, cancer, and heart disease are possible long-term effects of indoor air pollution. These long-term health effects may only show up long after you or your family has been exposed to pollution.
The immediate health effects normally only last a short time and are treatable. Sometimes, by just eliminating your exposure to a pollutant by upgrading your HVAC system, you can identify the cause. Ultimately, you should try and improve your indoor air quality right now, even if symptoms aren’t noticeable.
Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
- Check your cleaning supply ingredients. Make sure that they’re environmentally friendly. Research what is considered a dangerous ingredient so you know exactly what you’re buying.
- Turn your home into a no-smoking zone. Cigarette smoke is one of the most common air pollutants, so when you reduce the amount of smoke in your air, you decrease the chances of your family suffering from serious health issues.
- Check your home for asbestos. Usually, you should check for asbestos before you move into your home, but it’s still a good idea to make sure there aren’t asbestos lingering in your family’s space.
- Change your air filter regularly. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for how often your air filter needs changing.
- Place a large mat at each outside door to reduce dirt and other pollutants coming into your home via shoes.
- Use a good vacuum with strong brushes to keep allergens from accumulating in your home.
- Invest in an air cleaner or air purifier, especially if a family member suffers from allergies or asthma or if you have pets. The Honeywell Electrode Humidifier adjusts the level of humidity in your home so that it isn’t too dry or too humid.
- Invest in an air scrubber. This device uses a special UV light and photocatalyst target. It reduces smoke in the air, it gets rid of odors, and it eliminates microbial populations on surfaces. Additionally, an air scrubber can eliminate dust buildup in your HVAC system.
Speak to our team at Palm Desert Air Conditioning and Heating Co. for the best indoor air quality solutions to suit your needs and keep your family healthy. We offer a range of indoor air quality systems, so call us at 760-610-0297.
Image provided by Shutterstock