When most people think of air pollution, they think of smog, big cities, industrial smokestacks, and congested highways. We have been conditioned to think that air pollution only happens outside and only under certain sets of circumstances. However, the worst air pollution you face is likely right inside your home. Though surprising and scary at the same time, the air in your home likely contains many toxins, dirt, dust, as well as pet and skin dander. In addition, the same air has probably been there for a while. Here are some facts you should know about indoor air quality, or IAQ.
Indoor Air Pollution: The Public Health Hazard
The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA for short, of the United States has found some alarming facts about IAQ, causing them to place poor IAQ in the top five environmental risks to public health. They found that indoor air pollution was two to five times more potent than outdoor air pollution levels, and in some places it was as much as 100 times greater. Household cleaners, poor ventilation, toxic candles, air fresheners, and chemicals let off by household textiles, like carpet, can all make your IAQ poor.
Inkjet Printers and Chemicals
Most people are surprised by this fact, but an inkjet printer can be a source of air pollution in the home. Industrial chemicals called glymes are within printer inks, and they have been linked to reproductive damage and developmental damage and delays. The EPA has inkjet printers on their watch list and recommends if you have a lot of printing to do, to outsource them out of your home.
Poor IAQ Damages Health
Poor IAQ can damage more than just your lungs. It has been shown to cause dry eyes, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and nasal congestion. Although poor IAQ can cause multiple problems within the respiratory system, it has also been linked to depression and stroke in adults, as well as systemic inflammation, neural distress, and immune dysfunction in all age groups.
Improve Your IAQ
All of these facts can be quite surprising, and even concerning. Taking small steps to improve your IAQ can help. Improve your ventilation, which can be as simple as opening a few windows. Use filters, such as a HEPA or Guardian Air REME filter to help clean the air. Finally, dust with a damp cloth to trap the particulate matter and not just spread it around and into the air.
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