Disturbing health dangers of indoor air pollution exposed
(NaturalHealth365) When most people think about air pollution, they often think of big plumes of smoke from industrial smokestacks rising into the air. However, while pollution outdoors is a problem, the bigger problem is actually indoor air pollution. Poor ventilation, trapped air plus the many environmental toxins we know of – can result in a toxic cloud right inside our homes and workplace.
Indoor air pollution has been called the top environmental health problem by both U.S. Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and this type of pollution is particularly dangerous for the elderly and children. Since most people today spent about 90% of their time inside, indoor air pollution has the potential to cause some serious health effects.
In fact, an investigation by the Global Healing Center has found some surprising health dangers that come with this type of pollution. Things like air fresheners, candles, ink jet printers, household (and office) furniture can all outgas terrible pollutants. Bottom line: none of us should ignore this issue, if we care about our future health.
Indoor air pollution linked to respiratory diseases and heart disease
Surprisingly, according to the EPA, indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental risks to the health of the public, with indoor air as high as 100x more toxic than outdoor air.
Another big surprise – it appears that furniture, particularly older pieces, is a significant danger, harboring flame retardants that can put toxins into the air of your home. Other sneaky contributors to poor indoor air quality include candles, air fresheners, inkjet printers, and wood smoke coming from an indoor fireplace.
Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air. These chemicals - the 'off-gassing' of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials - increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.
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The fact is: cleaning up your indoor air space can greatly reduce the risk of many short-term and long-term health problems. For example, if you suffer with respiratory diseases such as asthma, lung infections, and even lung cancer – better air quality ought to be a top priority for you.
But indoor contaminants go far beyond affecting respiratory health. Repeated exposure to indoor toxins can increase the risk of heart disease, according to the EPA. In addition, some indoor pollutants have been associated with fertility problems, depression, stroke, increased inflammation, neural distress, and immune dysfunction.
Strategies for reducing air pollution for better health
Not only are homes at risk for high levels of indoor air pollution, but workplaces and schools are, as well. Since indoor spaces can house dust, chemicals, industrially-created chemicals, and mold, it’s essential to work on improving the air quality in your home- especially the bedroom.
Some of the best strategies for reducing indoor air pollution and improving air quality include:
- Use of a high-quality, air filter: A good HEPA filter (inside an air purification system) in your home can help keep the air that you breathe cleaner, reducing your risk of respiratory diseases and other problems associated with indoor pollutants.
- Improve ventilation: Ensuring there’s plenty of ventilation in a home, office, or school can help prevent a large concentration of pollutants from building up. So, open up those windows.
- Remove sources of contaminants – which involve:
- Not buying those toxic air fresheners laced with unwanted (cancer-causing) chemicals
- Avoiding the use of cleaning products with chemicals
- Purchasing furniture that hasn’t been treated with chemicals
- Buying plants that help to clean up the air like: Bamboo Palm or Chinese Evergreen
- Changing your dusting habits: Instead of merely stirring up dust with a dust cloth, use a damp cloth designed to remove the dust instead of simply spreading it around.
Sources for this article include: