Most of us worry about outdoor air pollutants like smog, but how many of us think about the air quality in our homes? Indoor air quality can be up to five times more polluted than that air outside. There are numerous chemicals inside your home that can pollute the air, so it is important you know what they are so you can improve indoor air quality. There are some signs you should look for that may indicate you have poor air quality in your home.
Here are some of the most common signs:
• You always feel sick when you are home but feel better when you leave your home.
• The air inside your home is not circulating as it should.
• You see signs of mold in your home.
• The air inside your home smells stuffy or old.
There are three main indoor air pollutants in your home that can be deadly: carbon monoxide, secondhand smoke, and radon gas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an average of 430 carbon-monoxide deaths in the United States each year. The American Lung Association states that each year in the United States, there are an average of 7,330 lung cancer deaths caused by secondhand smoke. Radon gas is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. Other dangerous indoor air pollutants include asbestos, lead, household chemicals, dust, mold and pet hair.
There are some steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home. First, don’t smoke in your home, if you are a smoker, and don’t allow anyone else to smoke in your home either. Second, install a carbon monoxide detector in the hallway of your home and ensure it is in proper working order at least once a year. Third, test your home for radon. Radon is not only odorless but it is also invisible, so the only way to detect it is by testing. Next, ensure your home is properly ventilated. If your home has high levels of moisture, it can lead to mold growth in your home. Lastly, reduce the amount of carpeting in your home. Carpeting can harbor unwanted and unhealthy pollutants like dirt, chemicals, dust mites and pet dander.