It’s a no brainer that if your home is sick, you’re probably sick. By sick, I mean if your home has mold or a really nasty humidity problem. You wouldn’t think that it would cause such an issue, but it really does. It’s estimated that between 10-50% of indoor environments in North America, Australia, India, Japan, and Europe are affected by dampness, compromising your indoor air quality and causing the buildup of mold. Here’s a few simple ways you can increase the quality of the air in your home-saving your health and saving you money.
VOC’s are a nasty variety of organic chemicals that get released as gas from certain things, such as solids and liquids. These are most commonly found in household items such as mattresses, paints, varnishes, furniture, pesticides, crafting materials, and more.
The most common type of VOC’s are Benzene, Ethylene, Acetone, glycol, Formaldehyde, Perchloroethylene, and Methylene chloride. Unfortunately, if you are exposed to these for a long period of time or even short period, depending on how sensitive you are to them, you could experience the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Nose & throat irritation
- Eye irritation
- Skin issues
Higher concentrations can cause:
- Irritation of the lungs
- Damage to the liver
- Damage to the kidneys
- Damage to the central nervous system
Some VOC’s have been suspected to cause cancer in humans and animals. This is all dependent on the length of exposure and the concentration of the VOC. The best way to ensure that these are out of your home is to look for products that say they are low in VOC’s or are all organic.
Invest In A Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is a great way to keep your home air quality at its best. These machines are perfect for all areas of your house and range from small to extra large. The point of a dehumidifier is to take the humidity out of your home because too much of it can cause mold to form and it can also cause a series of health issues if you are exposed to humidity for too long. Your sweat isn’t going to evaporate as fast as it normally would, meaning that your body’s natural air conditioning system starts to malfunction.
The best way to ensure that your home is between 30-50% humidity is to invest in a dehumidifier large enough for the whole house. This will keep the humidity levels low and stop mold spores from entering the air. Breathing these in can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and a whole lot of other respiratory issues.
This is pretty obvious, but secondhand cigarette smoke is a huge culprit of indoor air pollution. Cigarette smoke is infused with more than 4,000 chemicals-yikes! Research has shown that secondhand smoke can increase a child’s risk of having respiratory infections, ear infections, asthma, SIDS, and even cancer. For the smoker themselves, they can develop cancer, breathing problems, suffer from a heart attack and a stroke.
If smoking is an issue for you or someone you know, check out some support groups, talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement therapies, or find a good method for you that works for quitting if you really want to increase the indoor air quality of your home.
The indoor air quality of your home is very important, more than you know. One other thing that I want to mention is the fact that if you have crummy indoor air quality, you probably aren’t sleeping well. You can greatly improve your health through proper sleep, especially after you take care of all of those nasty pollutants in your home.