DIY





Steps to Guard Against Indoor Air Pollution


| 12/14/2015 10:21:00 AM



 

While I try to live a sustainable lifestyle, up until recently, I admittedly didn’t think too much about the air I breathed indoors within my home — until my son began to struggle with severe asthma. My wife and I worked tirelessly to research effective remedies and did our best to provide him with each and every recommended treatment at the highest standards of care.

The more I explored, the more I realized I was not alone and began to think more critically about what I could do safeguard the air quality in my home environment. Indoor air quality is a critical problem in interior spaces today, characterized by building occupants (including school children) experiencing headaches, eye, nose or throat irritation, dry cough, and other symptoms that abate once they leave the building. Additionally, poor indoor air quality is connected to a variety of infections, conditions and diseases, including lung cancer and asthma, according to the American Lung Association. Recent data also suggests that over 25 million people, or roughly 8 percent of the population, has asthma.

Indoor air is polluted by volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These gases are emitted into the air from products like pesticides, air fresheners, cleaning products, paint and paint remover, personal care products, appliances, furniture and building products, including carpet and pressed-wood floors, and more. Sometimes VOCs react with other gases, forming other pollutants that are released into the air.

Even when some of these products aren’t being actively used, they still emit VOCs. This can happen when such products are simply stored or are being moved. Commonly released VOCs from these everyday household products are toxic compounds like benzene, toluene and formaldehyde.



Safeguarding Ourselves Against Indoor Air Pollution

The good news about poor indoor air quality is that we can take actions to reduce pollution and make the air we breathe healthier.  There are steps we can take – and they need not demand a major investment of money or time that can make a dramatic difference.



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