23 Dec 5 Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
To protect ourselves against outdoor pollution like smoke, dust, smog and other pollutants, most of us seek the comfort of our homes and offices. But what if we tell you that the air inside our homes or workplaces is just as worse. Though you can’t see it, but you can smell it. It can aggravate, irritate and in some cases, can cause serious harm. Air quality experts estimate that indoor air pollution is two to five times worse than outdoor pollution. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not affecting your health.
Since our cave-dwelling days, some of the pollutants have been in human homes. Burning wood to create fire lead to the formation of harmful chemicals. Other pollutants have only been introduced to our homes in modern times which may arise due to the natural environment, including mould and bacteria. Microbial pollutants such as pollen, mould and pet hair can mix with volatile organic compound (VOCs) and develop toxic indoor environments. Poor quality of indoor air causes certain allergies and asthma. This may result in weakening your immune system and expose you to cold and other diseases. To eradicate the pollutants and improve indoor air quality, you should identify the major causes of Indoor pollution primarily.
Wherever indoor pollution comes from and whatever be its cause, identifying it can help you and your loved ones breathe easier. Risk of serious long term health problems can also be reduced through it. Below you can read about some of the common causes of indoor air pollution that you can know about for a safer and cleaner home.
1. Pollution Due To Household Cleaning Supplies
It may help you in keeping your home or office clean, but it can also be a cause of indoor air pollution. The chemicals in cleaning supplies start to circulate in the air you breathe as soon as you spray them indoors.
2. Carpet Fumes
When a new carpet is installed, sometimes it might release chemicals from the vinyl backing and the adhesive used to hold the carpet to the floor. This is known as off-gassing and some of these chemicals may trigger headache, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath and asthma. Though the majority of off-gassing takes place in the first few months of installation, but these chemicals can be released for as long as five years after the new carpet is installed. It is recommended to have heavy ventilation for at least three days after the carpet installation gets completed.
The carpeting may not be the best choice if you or your family are especially sensitive to these chemicals. You can opt for a carpet with natural fibers or opt for bare floors with rugs instead.
3. Paint and VOC’s
There is an abundance of volatile organic compound (VOC) in household paints. A fresh coat of paint may just do the trick of causing health problems in high concentrations. Now you understand, why you feel a headache after painting?
By the time that paint is dry, most of the VOC’s released in fresh paint is gone – but not all. Those which are lingering their may put you and your family at risk and are the cause of poor indoor air quality. You’ll be shocked to know that some of these pollutants such as methylene chloride and benzene are known carcinogens i.e linked with cancer.
4. Mould And Mildew Development
Mould formation in homes happens due to excessive moisture in the air. This can cause a serious problem when these microscopic spores in the mould mix with the indoor air you breathe causing potential health concerns. Ensure that the humidity levels in your home or office are not too high. Usage to dehumidifier to combat mould growth is also a great option.
5. Poor Ventilation
Sometimes, a poor ventilation system fails to circulate outdoor and indoor air properly. It is necessary to check for the air intakes and exhausts for each room to ensure that they are free of pollutants and dust. With the help of a proper ventilation system, you can easily reduce the amount of indoor pollutants in the air. Some air conditioning systems with built-in dehumidifiers can help in monitoring the humidity levels in your home or office.
6. Smoke from Cigarette
A single stick of cigarette contains a hundred of toxic substances which makes it one of the most common causes of poor indoor air quality. But this can be prevented by using air purifiers around the home or office and limiting the amount of cigarette smoke.
These were some of the major causes of poor indoor air quality. It is wise to eliminate these causes from your home either by yourself or if the problem is to a larger extent, than you can contact indoor air quality experts in UK. We at Better Indoors provide highly effective and affordable indoor air quality services and ventilation solution in UK.