Keeping Your Home Healthy: What is Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air quality can be greatly affected by different toxic substances and harmful chemicals that can be found in household products and cleaning products! The dangers of carbon monoxide and various volatile organic compounds. But what even is indoor air pollution?

How Does Indoor Air Pollution Affect Us – Health Effects of Poor Air Quality

Where indoor air quality is concerned, you must come to an understanding of the different causes of indoor air pollution, what bad air quality symptoms to look for, the sources of indoor air pollution, as well as how to prevent or how to reduce indoor air pollution and other volatile organic compounds.

To avoid serious health effects associated with poor indoor air quality, we can rely on the AQI, or Air Quality Index, to provide the general public with the information needed about pollution measurement and healthy or unhealthy levels of harmful air pollutants.

It is important for members of sensitive groups and those who experience health effects from the dangers air pollution poses to rely on what is known as an air quality forecast to determine whether the outdoor air pollution levels require making any changes to the home to improve your own air quality inside your home.

African American couple feeling sick and sitting on the couch blowing his nose and taking her allergy pills for mold exposure

Common Symptoms of Respiratory Diseases

  • Sinus or lung congestion,
  • Chronic excessive mucus,
  • Chronic bronchitis,
  • Persistent cough,
  • Wheezing and/or difficulty breathing,
  • Lingering chest pain,
  • Coughing blood

Common Symptoms of Heart Disease

  • Lingering chest pain
  • Tightness in your chest
  • Pressure or discomfort in your chest (also known as angina)
  • Pain in the throat, neck, or jaw
  • numbness, coldness, weakness or pain in the arms or legs
  • Shortness of breath or breathing problems

Health professionals are specifically worried about people with asthma. The number of individuals who have asthma has considerably increased in recent years. Whether this is due to increases in ambient outdoor and indoor air quality and pollution, specifically greenhouse gas types of outdoor air emissions, such as Co2 or carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, or others over the years or not, it is definitely a situation you want to pay close attention to, especially if you are one of the millions of people affected by chronic asthma.

These harmful contaminants can travel through the air and are often impossible to see. Even a clean house might allow the development of toxic substances, leading to trouble breathing or even lung disease in time. A lot of information about indoor air pollution sources and the long-term health problems it can cause is based on research studies of large workplace buildings and studies of houses in the northern U.S. and Canada.

What is Air Pollution; an Indoor Air Pollution Definition

Indoor air pollution refers to the chemical, organic, and physical contamination of a home’s indoor air quality. Undeterred, it is also likely to cause adverse health problems and health effects. In developing countries, the primary source of indoor air pollution is biomass smoke, which contains suspended particulate matter (5 PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (Co), formaldehyde, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Caucasian husband and wife real estate flippers leaving building in a hurry, suffocating from carbon monoxide and other noxious, dangerous, voc's causing indoor air pollution
Woman and man running out of a building, suffocating. Carbon monoxide poisonous gas cloud.

In addition to NO2, CO (Carbon Monoxide), and formaldehyde, In industrialized countries, radon gas, asbestos, mercury, human-made mineral fibers, volatile organic compounds, allergens, tobacco smoke, bacteria, and viruses are the main contributors to indoor air pollution.

Studies show some individuals do not experience adverse health effects or breathing difficulty from certain indoor air pollutants, while others might experience one or more types of reactions. When this happens, it is important to remember to take deep breaths and stay as calm as possible.

Air Quality Index and Current Air Quality

Real-Time Air Quality Monitoring

Do you want your very own air quality tracking terminal? The Awair Element Indoor Air Quality Monitor uses high-tech laser particle sensors to measure in real-time PM2.5 pollution, which is one of the most dangerous air pollutants. Extremely simple to set up, they only require a WIFI access point and a USB power supply. Once linked with the free Awair home app available on both iOS and Android operating systems, air pollution levels are reported instantaneously in real-time.

Gaia air quality monitors are also a great way to keep updated on real-time changes in both outdoor and indoor air quality and levels of PM2.5 and PM10 particles in the air today compared to the latest air quality rankings.

Many air quality monitors also come equipped to monitor different environmental factors, including but not limited to dusthumidity levels, chemicals contained in secondhand smokemotor vehicles, and more. Many sensors can detect and measure levels of myriad different dangerous chemicals that pose even a moderate health concern even in low concentrations.

Real-Time Air Pollution Map

Clicking this information graphic contents will take you to the real-time Air Quality Index and Air Pollution World Map published by the World Air Quality Index Project Team. Using this map, you can determine the levels of different types of pollutants, including but not limited to the most common nitrogen oxides, NO2, sulfur dioxide, both small and large particles, and other VOCs found in the ozone layer.

Keeping Your Home Healthy: What is Indoor Air Pollution -
Click the air pollution map above to view the real-time air quality world map.

Indoor Air Quality Testing and Air Quality Test Kits

If you are someone who has a lung condition such as lung cancer, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD as its called, or tend to experience more severe reactions to allergens present in household products, cleaning products, and other harmful substances that may be found inside a home, purchasing a home air quality test to get your air tested should be your first step in identifying whatever harmful chemicals might be present.

You can find all types of air quality testing kits, like air quality tests for mold, home air quality tests, as well as different volatile organic compound identification type tests, and tests that measure the level of indoor pollution in your home.

Top Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Volatile Organic Compounds(VOCs)

Volatile natural substances (VOCs) are discharged as gases from specific solids or fluids. VOCs include various chemicals, some of which might have short- and long-term unfavorable wellness effects. The concentration of many VOCs is constantly higher inside (up to 10 times higher) than outdoors.

VOCs are discharged by a wide variety of items numbering in the thousands. Instances consist of: paints as well as lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, chemicals, building materials and also furnishings, workplace equipment such as photocopiers and printers, modification fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics, and also craft products including glues as well as adhesives, permanent markers, and also photographic solutions.

The burning of wood puts off lots of carbon monoxide into the surrounding environment, which, if in an enclosed area with no way to vent to the outside, can lead to death.

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide in the Home

The burning of wood puts off lots of carbon monoxide into the surrounding environment, which can lead to death if in an enclosed area with no way to vent to the outside.

Keeping Your Home Healthy: What is Indoor Air Pollution -

Carbon monoxide gas, or CO, is a toxic gas that you can not see or smell. CO is given off whenever fuel or other carbon-based products are burned. CO typically comes from sources in or near your house that are not appropriately preserved or vented.

You may be at increased risk of exposure to hazardous levels of Carbon Monoxide by:

  • utilizing inadequately preserved or unvented heating devices;
  • incorrectly vented gas home appliances like ranges or water heaters;
  • running vehicles in garages or other enclosed areas;
  • using a gas oven, grill, or stove to warm the house;
  • house or structure fires;
  • clogged up chimneys or obstructed gas stove exhaust vents;
  • cooking with a grill inside the home or other enclosure, whether charcoal or gas;
  • using a gas stove, heater, or light inside a tent or house; and
  • being near exhaust outlets.

The Dangers of Asbestos in the Home

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of soft and flexible fibers resistant to heat, electrical power, and rust. These high qualities make the mineral helpful, yet they also make direct asbestos exposure highly hazardous.

Asbestos is an effective insulator and can be used in the construction of cloth, paper, concrete, plastic, and various other materials to make them stronger. Yet when asbestos dust is inhaled or ingested, mineral fibers can become wholly trapped in the body.

Over the years, entrapped asbestos fibers can cause inflammation, scarring, and eventually genetic damage. An uncommon and hostile cancer called mesothelioma is practically solely caused by direct asbestos exposure. Asbestos likewise triggers other forms of cancer cell growth and a host of different progressive lung conditions.

Tips for Safely Handling Asbestos:

Some State jurisdictions allow property owners to eliminate asbestos materials by themselves. If you are thinking about removing the asbestos-containing material yourself, remember the following precautions about handling asbestos safely:

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