Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Did you know that the average American spends approximately 90 percent of their time indoors? That’s a lot of time spent inside. What’s more is that each person inhales approximately 15,000 (or more) quarts of air a day. For these reasons, breathing clean air is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, are Americans getting enough clean air in their homes? The answer may actually shock you.

During the winter months especially, most homes are sealed up in order to conserve energy. However, while this keeps the electric or oil bill down, it prevents outdoor air from entering the home. As a result, pollutants can build up that can cause serious health problems. And while most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health, many are unaware that indoor air pollution is equally as harmful to their bodies.



Is Indoor Air Pollution a Problem?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor pollution ranks among the top five environmental dangers to people. Shocking? I think so. This is partially due to how homes are now being constructed. Today, homes are sealed tighter so that air cannot escape. This keeps homes warmer during the winter months and cooler during the summer. The appeal is that this type of home is more energy efficient. However, they also lock in allergens, toxins and infectious agents that can cause serious health issues for those living in the home.

How Dangerous is Indoor Air Pollution?

Research shows that more people suffer from asthma, allergies and other respiratory diseases than ever before. This is said to be a result of inhaling too much indoor air pollution. Rather than exhaling toxins out, toxins are embed in the lungs and then absorbed in the blood stream. Once absorbed, these toxins never leave the body—even through adulthood. Children are the most susceptible to indoor air pollution because they breathe a greater volume of air relative to their body weight. The dangers of these toxic particles can result in irritations in the eyes, throat and nose. They can produce headaches, fatigue and even nausea. And extreme cases have been suspected to damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.

Good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Creating a healthy indoor atmosphere for our homes should be a priority. We can do this by maintaining a good IAQ. Start by eliminating sources of pollution or reducing their emissions. For instance, you can use an exhaust fan over your stove to remove gases like carbon monoxide. Next, you want to improve ventilation by increasing the amount of outdoor air coming into your home. This will dilute concentrations of indoor pollutants and push stale indoor air out of the home. Finally, you should try to use products and appliances that are eco-friendly and third-party green certification for IAQ. This includes cleaning products—certain cleaning products can have a toxic effect on the skin and lungs.

We all want happy, healthy families. And we can ensure this by improving the air quality within our homes. The first step is to acknowledge that indoor air pollution is a serious problem and the dangers can be equally as detrimental to our health. The most effective strategy for reducing indoor air pollution is to eliminate or reduce the sources of pollution altogeher. While going green may not be an option for everyone, we can all certainly cut back on the amount of unnecessary toxins in our homes. Good luck, and breathe happy!


Author Bio:
Mary Richardson is a freelance writer that has a passion for shopping and green practices. Mary encourages her readers to invest in a filtration system to ensure that their water is clean. She recently invested in bag filters to save both money and the environment.

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