Indoor air pollution is a significant health concern, especially for people who suffer from respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside the average home is approximately five times more polluted than the outdoors. Long-term exposure to indoor air pollutants can be dangerous. That’s why it’s important to know what might be lurking in your home or office.
Indoor Air Pollution Causes
Here are three of the most common causes of indoor air pollution and how you can prevent them in your home or office.
Radon occurs naturally and is found everywhere, but at low levels. It is an odorless and colorless gas commonly found in rock formations underneath your home or some building materials. At low levels it is harmless. However, long-term or elevated exposure to this indoor air pollution contaminant increases your risk of getting lung cancer or other respiratory diseases.
Professionals estimate that 1 out of every 5 homes in the US have radon levels that need to be reduced. Call a professional to test your radon level in your home or office. Or, go here for more information on how to do it yourself.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds sound very science fiction doesn’t it? In short, they are chemicals found in ordinary household products. “Volatile” means that the chemicals evaporate or can easily get into the air at room temperature. Researchers have found that VOCs in indoor environments may be two thousand times higher than in the outdoors. They are also virtually undetectable by smell.
Long-term indoor air pollution caused by VOCs can cause dizziness, headaches, eye, nose, and throat irritation. High concentrations of VOC can be very toxic.
Common Sources of VOC indoor air pollution originate from:
- Building Materials
- Indoor Furnishings (varnish and paint)
- Glues and Adhesives
- Printers and Copiers
- Dry-Cleaned Clothing
Indoor air pollution from smoke is not only second-hand cigarette smoke. It can also source from fireplaces, stoves, and cooking fires. Pervasive, long-term exposure to smoke can aggravate and may even cause asthma or other chronic respiratory conditions.
Prevent this type of indoor air pollution:
- Eliminate all indoor cigarette smoking.
- Make sure you have proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of smoke from indoor fires.
- Regularly clean and maintain chimneys and flues.
Fight Indoor Air Pollution
Sources of indoor air pollution can be difficult to detect without a professional. Contact Advantage Air & Service to schedule an evaluation of your home or office. We perform a comprehensive indoor air quality test and provide you with affordable solutions to improve your indoor air quality. Let us help you keep your home comfortable and safe.