More often than not, we learn about the effect of carbon monoxide, gases emitted from the greenhouse, car fumes, and many other things responsible for polluting the air we inhale and exhale outside.
However, we have little or no knowledge that there are also very dangerous things for our health that we inhale and exhale whenever we are indoors.
These things tend to always be around us whenever we are indoors and affect the quality of the air around us, which will, in turn, be extremely hazardous to our health and end up being a major cause of many respiratory-related illnesses that could range from mild to severe.
Compiled in this article is a detailed list of factors responsible for affecting indoor air quality that could pose a threat or be detrimental to your health.
What are the Factors that Affect Indoor Air Quality?
The list is pretty long as even things we find normal and important for our day-to-day life can affect our health quality. These things include:
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted in gaseous forms. They are derived from certain solids or liquids. VOCs are made up of various chemicals, which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. These chemicals mostly become airborne when they are at room temperature.
Many VOCs pose a threat as they have harmful effects on our health. We tend to have things that possess VOCs as they can be found in most common cleaning products, solvents, glues, paints, and more. The problems that could come from VOCs include; irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, unnecessary headaches: loss of coordination, and nausea.
It could also cause damage to organs like the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Research has also found out that some of these organics can be a leading cause of cancer in animals, especially domesticated ones. Some scientists also suspect their ability to cause cancer in humans.
This gas has no color or odor, so it is almost impossible to detect its presence. This could be generated indoors by fuel-burning appliances like your furnace. It is quite unfortunate that the death rate due to carbon monoxide poisoning is on the high side and very common.
This occurs mostly during the winter months because people try to keep themselves warm. This could be avoided by having an ICE heating & cooling system, which will come in handy and provide warmth or chill irrespective of the weather. The death toll due to carbon monoxide can also be curbed and drastically reduced by using the right equipment and installing a carbon monoxide detector.
Dust is one of the world’s most common allergens. However, things like pollen, pet dander, pet fur, perfumes, and even natural substances we tend to keep and collect in our homes are capable of causing allergic reactions.
This is very common as 9 out of ten people have experienced an allergy due to reactions to certain things present in their homes.
Using an air filter could go a long way in reducing the dust levels in your home. You could also have the quality of your air tested. This will help determine the exact source of allergens and help you eliminate or mitigate their effects.
Excess moisture in your home can be dangerous as it causes the things in your home to be damp and subsequently leave a stale smell which will pollute the air in your home.
Humid environments can cause indoor air pollutants to stick around, eventually promoting mold and bacterial growth.
This point is already self-explanatory, and there was no doubt it would make a list. The lack of fresh air and proper cross ventilation is a common indoor air quality problem.
Sometimes, it’s a mistake on the homeowner’s path or the building design. Lack of ventilation can be the cause of poor health.
This was commonly used in homes until the late 90s. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral which was once referred to as the ‘miracle mineral.’ Research has shown that it is a known cause of a rare kind of cancer and irreversible lung damage.
It is treated the same way as toxic waste and should be neutralized or completely taken out of your home if you suspect its presence by any chance.
This is primarily caused by the natural breakdown of uranium settled deep within the earth. This gas is colorless and odorless and can gain access into your home through the cracks in the foundation without you having the faintest idea. This will eventually build up to dangerous levels, detrimental to your health.
Air Fresheners and Scent
There is certainly a good and convincing reason why workplaces have scent-free policies. However, many people’s health tends to be negatively affected by the chemicals combined to produce scented products like perfume, cologne, air fresheners, scented candles, and more.
If you take them out of your living space, it can go a long way in improving indoor air quality and creating a healthier and more productive environment for your home and office.
If your home is old, it is possible it still contains lead paint, even if there are layers of paint covering it. When lead paints get old, it has the possibility of flaking or chipping off. Lead dust is easily inhaled and can cause serious lifelong health problems.
The activities in progress around your home can also greatly affect your indoor environment. Suppose your home is situated around an industry, pesticides, road traffic, and many other events that occur in both rural and urban environments.
In that case, it will have a negative impact on your indoor air quality.
We all know that air pollution is harmful to humans, plants, and animals. Although we are quick to think of air pollution strictly as outdoor gases, smoke, and fumes, we spend more of our time indoors, which inadvertently means that the air quality indoors is just as (if not more) important.
It is essential o be cautious and dedicated to caring about the kind of air you breathe into your system. Many things and factors are responsible for the poor air quality. It is important to be on guard and ensure the safety of the air you take in.
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