Interiors

Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Air quality is important to the longevity of an individual's health and well-being. Unsafe conditions or polluted areas of habitation affect sleeping patterns, energy levels, and long-term efficiencies. If you're looking to create an atmosphere for success and healthy development, make sure you're paying attention to the devices and products that you're bringing into your home.

The following sources are some of the most prominent sources of indoor air pollution.

Heating Equipment - Most heating elements give off emissions like carbon monoxide, causing nausea and headaches. Some heating equipment gives off more carbon monoxide than others, particularly gas stove tops, creating particulates in the air leading to respiratory problems and eye, nose, and throat inflammation.

Watch Out for VOC's - Products such as paints, strippers, sealants, glues, adhesives, and carpets emit VOC, which are also known as volatile organic compounds. Make sure to air out newly painted areas and carpets after installation. Toxic formaldehyde causes short-term and long-term health issues, so ensure the products that you're using to decorate your home are water-based or formaldehyde-free products.

Plastic Products - Most plastic products are made of chemicals that have been linked to hormonal abnormalities and reproductive problems. In addition, many new electronic devices carry chemicals that initially have adverse side effects. Make sure to ventilate spaces with new electronic devices and plastic products. Burning plastic is also very dangerous, as chemical reactions caused from burning plastic may trigger neurobehavioral changes.

Dust Mites and Other Critters - The accumulation of dust mites and other airborne dust may cause complications with respiratory systems and eye irritations. Regular cleaning is essential to the elimination of dust mites, including washing linen, bed sheets, and clothes in hot water regularly. Dust mites are attracted to areas where moisture is prevalent and air circulation is minimal. If you're having trouble with your air conditioning unit or air purifier, you may want to replace your machines as soon as possible to eliminate the accumulation of dust mites or other airborne mites.

Tobacco Smoke & Asbestos - One of the most well-known and plagued pollutants is tobacco smoke. More and more people die each day from exposure to second-hand smoke - making this indoor air pollutant one of the most dangerous long-term for your health.

In addition to tobacco, a few years back, asbestos was becoming an epidemic in new home construction with the use of imported materials and drywall from China. These materials contained heavy amounts of asbestos and hung out in the walls until residents realized their respiratory problems were coming from the exposure. Asbestos may cause long-term health problems or even death if not treated, which is part of the reason why it's so dangerous. Unless you're remodeling or ‘have a hunch' about asbestos within your home, you're probably not going to rip down your drywall to check for contamination.

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The Bottom Line

Ensure that you're consistently health-conscious about the materials that you're bringing into your home, as well as the materials you're building or remodeling your home with. If you smell chemicals from glues, adhesives, electronics, plastics, or building materials, make sure that you air out the working area, as well as seek advice from an outside third-party on the hazard level.

This article was provided by Matthew Hall from Orlando, Florida. Matthew is a professional blogger and a content writer for AirCleaners.com. When he isn’t blogging he enjoys watching sports and exercising. Visit him on Google+ to learn more.

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