Home Sweet Home? Not if the Air Quality Is BadIf you suffer from asthma, allergies or other problems and stay indoors to avoid outdoor contaminants that can exacerbate those conditions, you need to know that the air you breathe inside your home can have just as negative an effect as the air outside it. Many people realize this on their own when they notice that their symptoms don't seem to be alleviated by staying inside, but that in many cases they actually worsen. If your home can't be a clean air sanctuary, though, where can one possibly turn?
What Are You Exposed To with Indoor Air?Amazingly, up to eighty percent of indoor pollutants consist of dead skin cells; these are obviously inhaled and pass through the respiratory system of people inside a home. As if that wasn't bad enough, those dead skin cells are truly just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of what else is floating around in your house. Some of the more alarming statistics that are known about indoor air include:
- One ounce of dust can contain up to 42,000 dust mites; a 1,500 square foot home can produce forty pounds of dust containing over 15 different species of dust mite.
- Bacteria can be found in many different sources in the home, including bathrooms, garbage, heating and cooling systems and just about anywhere else.
- Scented air fresheners can cause indoor air pollution; even though people use them to freshen up the home, they can actually create more polluted air.
- Remodeling byproducts can reduce indoor air quality; these include asbestos, formaldehyde and lead.
- Radon - radioactive dust found around the foundation of many homes - can exist in the indoor air, causing health problems.
- Secondhand smoke can contribute to a host of terrible health problems; you don't even need to partake in the habit to suffer from its consequence, and this smoke lingers for a long time in indoor air.