Posted by Rachel M. Rosen on 7/23/2011 to Indoor Air
Health risks from the air we breathe!Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Many people are unaware of the potential health risks they may face coming from the air they breathe. Whether at school, work or even your own home, you must be cautious about the air quality you expose yourself and others to. Some indoor air pollutants that may be harmful to your health include but are not limited to radon, secondhand smoke, Carbon monoxide(CO), Nitrogen Dioxide(NO2), volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), molds, etc.
When exposed to theses pollutants one may experience health problems such as sore eyes, burning in the nose and throat, headaches, or fatigue. In more severe cases the pollutants can cause or worsen allergies, heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses (asthma), and other serious detrimental conditions.
To avoid these harmful health risks all together you can take steps to improve your indoor air quality. The first step is to control the sources of pollution. You can accomplish this by ventilating the room or rooms in which the air pollution has entered. By increasing the amount of fresh air being brought indoors, you are decreasing the amount of pollutants. This is usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality according to the EPA.
Another major step that you should take to improve your indoor air quality is to be sure you are changing your furnace filters on a regular basis. Having high quality air conditioning filters are critical in improving your air quality because they trap all of the dust and pollutants that try to enter and pass through your air supply. Without decent air conditioning filters there is nothing protecting you from the various pollutants floating around in the air you are breathing. Also, be sure that you clean or change your AC filters according to the directions on the package.
The final step that must be taken in order to ensure that you are maintaining clean indoor air is to adjust the humidity. Humidity can directly impact the amount of pollutants that exist indoors. For example, if your home has a very high humidity there will be a greater risk of mold growing in your home. The EPA recommends that, “You keep indoor air humidity between 30 and 50 percent”.
If you follow these easy but important steps you will have cleaner air in no time! Some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Clean air isn’t that important!” Well that’s when you are sadly mistaken. In my 17 years of life I have only been sick a few times unlike many of my friends who have been sick many times. The difference between my friends and I is that I was brought up in a home with very clean, pollutant-free air, while they most likely were not. The air quality you expose yourself to really impacts your health and well being which is why it is so important to keep you air fresh and clean.