Many of us seem to forget the importance of air to our lives. Although everyone knows that breathing is a necessity for life, many of us settle for unclean air. With the pollution-scare recently in Beijing, many are calling for increased air quality standards. As low-emission vehicles are being introduced to the road and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hammers down on corporate pollution, a new concern arises: indoor air quality standards. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggests that as many as 131 million Americans breathe low-quality air on a regular basis. In fact, the EPA has actually ranked indoor air pollution among the top five national environmental dangers; the quality of indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than the worst outside air — and this is a conservative estimate! Significant repertory conditions could develop from low air quality exposure; to this end here are three of the most significant contributors to low indoor air quality standards.
Smoke in the Air
By now, all Americans should know that detrimental health concerns linked to tobacco consumption. While many smokers are likely tired of the lectures on quitting, smoking does not only affect them. Second-hand smoke from tobacco actually lingers in the air long after the visual smoke has gone. Wherever one can smell tobacco smoke, the toxins from cigarettes remain — this is referred to as third-hand smoke and is an increasing concern. Improperly ventilated rooms can allow the toxins from tobacco smoke to linger for hours after the tobacco has been smoked; in an effort to improve indoor air quality standards why many businesses have banned smoking indoors and how some are even banning smoking on the outside premises.
Mold is a fungi that thrives in damp, warm climates. Most molds thrive at indoor temperatures between 40 to 100 degrees Farenheit, although there are exceptions to this rule as there are over 100,000 species of mold with more being discovered each year. Since molds reproduce using spores like all fungi, some of these airborne spores can prove detrimental to indoor air quality standards. There are over 200 of these toxic spores referred to as mycotoxins linked to molds and nearly half of all structures in the United States have damp and warm conditions that can encourage mold growth. Commercial and home mold inspection services are available to identify and eliminate mold that may cause serious harm to individuals.
The very things that are meant to keep our homes cleaner may be making us sick. Studies have found that exposure to a number of chemical cleaners may actually be linked to a number of health issues. Watery eyes, skin irritation, chemical burns, respiratory conditions, and even some cancers have been linked to certain toxins found in certain chemical cleaners like drain cleaners, over cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners among others. Many homeowners are making the switch to all-natural cleaning products to eliminate exposure to these harmful toxins and to improve the overall air quality of their homes.
Many people would refuse to eat food that is covered in contaminates, so why should we settle for air that we know has contaminates in it? Homeowners should take further steps to ensure that their ventilation systems are helping to remove contaminates from the air. Replacing heating and air conditioning filters regularly every three months or so is one such way to ensure that your home’s air is as clean as can be.