Not all pollutants are found outdoors, some lie inconspicuously in the most unlikely places in one's home or office. Signs that such pollutants may exist, can be observed when a group of people in a given enclosed space get sick. Such as the case of people having symptoms of Legionnaires disease. Experts cannot point out the exact cause of the disease but, attributed it to the time spent in a certain building. The most immediate impact of bad indoor air quality is discomfort. Irritation in the throat, coughing is just one of the symptoms of this problem, and the only way to avoid such a situation is to move away from the source of pollution. Meanwhile, the effects of indoor pollutants may surface, years after constant exposure.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
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Sources of air pollution range from the most seemingly harmless ones, to the ones that create an immediate impact and discomfort. Mold and pollen from dirty walls and tiles, tobacco smoke, household products, and pesticides may be common fumes already part of the normal routine.
Gases such as radon and carbon monoxide should also be managed immediately. One cannot see, taste or smell radon. But it could pose a threat to the residents, considering that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US. It can enter homes and buildings through cracks in floors, walls or foundations.
Excessive amounts of carbon monoxide can cause poisoning, as the victims experience symptoms like headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. This gas is generated from the combustion of fumes coming from cars and trucks, lanterns, stoves, gas ranges, and heating systems. Carbon monoxide is a treacherous gas, as it may yield symptoms that are similar to other illnesses, and it may be too late to rescue victims and provide them the right treatment. People can also die from inhaling carbon monoxide.
Building materials such as asbestos, formaldehyde may also cause respiratory problems. When inhaled, they may cause discomforts like headaches or nausea.
Five Easy Ways To Reduce Air Pollution
Here are some ways to reduce indoor air pollution making houses and buildings safe again.
Residual gas sand particles from cigarette smoke are dangerous and can pose health hazards, especially among people who have existing chronic lung and heart problems. Smoke coming from cigarettes easily diffuse from one room to the next, and maybe easily absorbed in rooms with a lot of fabric or carpeting. Thus, banning smoking is the smartest way to avoid excessive carbon monoxide.
Sources of pollens and particles should be avoided
Pollens and allergens are microscopic particles invisible to the eye. The only way to combat them is to proactively prevent viable sources, from entering the house. Some pollens may cling to a pet's fur and thus it is best to bathe them, wash their bedding or prohibit them from entering bedrooms. Using doormats is also a simple way to reduce dust from entering the house. Better yet, implement a shoes-off policy in the household. Carpets can also be good hiding places of pollens and mites, and minimizing their use reduces the risk of inhaling these particles.
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Use natural cleaning supplies and consider the classic way of getting rid of stains and dirt.
Natural household cleaners contain natural ingredients that produce fumes, which cause no damage to the environment. Natural cleaning ingredients are found in the usual grocery list such as white vinegar, natural salt, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and lemons. One may also include liquid castile soap or Sal Suds, borax, microfiber cloths and a spray bottle in the list. There are easy nature cleaning recipes for beginners using these ingredients.
Gas stoves and cooking areas should be well-ventilated.
LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) stoves should be well ventilated to limit the production of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. These gases are not healthy to be stored indoors and may pose serious health risks. Thus, there is a need to open windows and make sure to properly seal gas tanks. Checking for gas leaks is also advised. Installing exhaust fans can also get rid of humid air, harmful gases and mold and mildew in the kitchen.
Minimize artificial fragrances.
Using artificial fragrances and fresheners is an easy way to mask indoor odors. However, these fragrances are not as healthy as they contain VOCs and phthalates, which can cause health issues. Also, one can eliminate sources of odors by cleaning the area with homemade cleaners, such as baking soda.