The Shocking Truth About Air Pollution: Is Your Home At Fault For Your Poor Health
According to the EPA (1995) indoor air quality is in the top 5 risks to public health. Most people do not realise that air pollution is both outdoors and indoors and tend to think of cars on the road, or factories sending plumes of smoke into the sky as the key contributors to bad air quality.
However, products we use every day contain synthetic ingredients that over time exude nasty toxins and bacteria that stay in our surroundings. Everyday items like cosmetics, cleaning products, air fresheners, pesticides, food packaging, and plastics which contain harmful chemicals and contaminants formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
Carpets, furniture, bedding and things around the house, can be dangerous to our health as they contain flame retardants, stain resistant materials and wrinkle proof textiles. These are polluting toxic contaminants which we could never have expected.
We tend to spend a giant proportion of our day indoors, on average, about 90 percent of the day is inside (EPA 1995), exposing us to various contaminants and hazards.
Sources of indoor air pollutants are endless: paints, insulation material, and low cost imitation timbers like MDF, ply wood and chip board, that have already been treated with fungicides and harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. Dyes, chlorine, sulfuric acid contaminants are found in these products and in home improvement products, which we tend to use on an everyday basis within our homes. Even the markers, paints, and stationary that we give our kids contain harsh chemicals and blends.
Research has determined that the indoor air we’re exposed to is between 2 – 5 times more contaminated than the air we’re all exposed to outside (EPA 1995). Critical factors connected with pollution sources includes carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), intensifying the danger of exposure to air pollutants in homes (Rawa et al, 2004).
Indoor air quality is affected by various factors. These include:
- building practices,
- heating and cooling adequacy,
- the utilization of artificial building materials and
- the character of the contaminants,
- and emission rates.
Insulation and ventilation in the home can contribute to the duration pollutants, that are present in indoor environments, stick around in your home or workplace. It varies according to the type of the ventilation, natural or mechanical.
If you or your family are experiencing health issues, they may be caused by adverse triggers in your home or workplace. A Healthy Home Assessment will identify potential contributing factors and root causes. By removing or reducing those causes we can improve the health conditions.
If you are concerned about dampness or mould book Mitey Fresh for a Mould Diagnosis. We will identify potential adverse health hazards and provide solutions without the need for harsh chemicals.
Are staff and colleagues’ complaining about feeling unwell at work? The workplace can present a mine field of issues. A Healthy Office Diagnosis starts with an on-site walk through assessment, many concerns can be addressed by asking more in-depth questions of occupants and staff, observing HVAC systems, pollutant pathways and contaminant sources.
The outcome of the diagnosis is to identify and understand the Indoor Air Quality concerns so that you can correct and solve them so the problem will not reoccur. Many Indoor Air Quality problems could result in more than one cause and may respond to or require several corrective actions. Click here for more info.
Carol Parr is a Building Biologist and healthy home guru. She has worked with families with respiratory and hypersensitivity problems for over twenty years. Don’t live with it any more contact Carol for a chat. www.miteyfresh.com.au
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