Do you think about the air you breathe? Even in your house? Don’t think you’re risk-free even if you’re inside. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air quality dangers can create huge health problems. People exposed to contaminated air for the longest durations are usually at the most risk of the results of indoor air pollution. This includes kids, senior adults, and people with long-term or chronic health problems.
A lot of indoor air pollution originates from sources that release gases or contaminants right into the air. Building products and air fresheners produce pollution constantly. Other sources such as cigarette smoke and wood-burning fireplaces or stoves additionally cause poor air quality. Some indoor air contaminants have been around for many years. However, they commonly were dissipated by outdoor air seeping into the residence. Today’s more energy-efficient homes do not let as much outside air get inside.
Indoor Air Dangers
Ozone generators are claimed to be air purifiers. They make and put out ozone gas. However, high concentrations of ozone react to organic material inside and outside the body. When ozone is inhaled, it can damage the lungs. This can trigger chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and throat irritation. It can make chronic lung conditions such as asthma worse. It can additionally boost the risk of lung infections.
The EPA says studies do not support claims that ozone from these devices removes dust, pollen, and chemicals from the air. No government firm has said these devices work as air cleaners. The main number located on the ozone generator packaging is only the identification of the facility that made the product. It is not an approval number.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria can be contaminants in a building. This includes mold, mildew, bacteria, pollen, mites, bugs, roaches, and waste from animals as well.
Carbon monoxide gas (CO) as well as other toxins are released from fuel-burning stoves, heaters, cars, and other appliances. CO is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas. It blocks oxygen movement in the body. Relying on how much is taken in, carbon monoxide can have lots of impacts. It can impact coordination, make heart conditions worse, and cause extreme fatigue, migraines, confusion, nausea or vomiting, and dizziness. High levels or a long period of exposure can cause death. Older adults, infants, pregnant women, as well as individuals with heart or lung diseases are more vulnerable to high carbon monoxide levels.
Nitrogen dioxide is a product of gas and kerosene burning. Like carbon monoxide, it is odor-free and invisible. It irritates the mucous membrane layers of the eyes, nose, and throat and creates difficulty breathing in high concentrations. Lasting direct exposure to nitrogen dioxide can hurt the lungs. It might cause chronic respiratory disease. Exposure to low levels may affect individuals with bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It may also worsen other respiratory infections.
This gas is a product from burning kerosene, often in a space heater. It is very problematic for the eyes and upper respiratory system.
Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the soil and rocks under a structure. It can seep into a house from underneath it. Radon can get into a home via cracks in the structure, walls, pipes, and other openings. Direct exposure to radon in a residence is the second leading root cause of lung cancer. Smoking cigarettes is the highest cause. Cigarette smokers and former smokers subjected to radon may have a much greater risk of death from lung cancer.
Cigarette smoke includes quantities of about 4,000 chemicals. This includes 200 known poisonous substances such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, and 43 carcinogenic substances.
More Indoor Air Pollutants
These are other frequent interior air contaminants:
- Particulates – Very common particulates in a home environment include dirt and pollen.
- Formaldehyde – This is a typical preservative and adhesive in furnishings, furniture, carpets, drapes, particleboard, and wood paneling. Breathing in formaldehyde fumes can cause coughing, rashes, headaches, dizziness, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
- Cleaning, solvent products – These include chemical cleaners, personal treatment products, home cleaners, solvents, and chemicals utilized for work or hobbies. Direct exposure to these products can trigger lightheadedness, nausea, allergies, cancer, and inflamed eyes, skin, and lungs. Some cleaning products can produce toxic fumes. Never ever blend chlorine bleach and ammonia.
- Home projects – These examples include paint and new carpet. They can emit fumes that aggravate the eyes, nose, and throat.
- Asbestos – This may be from insulation, flooring tiles, spackling substances, concrete, or heating equipment. These products can be a problem inside your home if the material that contains the asbestos is disturbed or becomes airborne. This can happen when the material wears with age. Asbestos fibers are light and small so they stay in the air. The fibers can be ingested. This creates lung tissue scarring and lung cancer.
- Lead – Lead was common in paint made before 1978.
- Pesticides – Exposure to pesticides can occur from the regular use of sprays, strips with pesticides, and foggers. Exposure can likewise occur from using polluted dust. This is specifically true for children who may be in close contact with polluted surfaces. Symptoms of exposure can include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, or vomiting. Some chemicals may create cancer.
Signs of Bad Indoor Air Quality
These symptoms might be a sign of interior air dangers. They include:
- Abnormal and obvious odors
- Stagnant or stale air
- Clear lack of airflow
- Unclean or damaged heating, cooling, or HVAC systems or the airflow from the systems
- Damaged flues or chimneys
- Excessive humidity, a relative humidity of 30%-50% is normally suggested for residences. Remove standing water, water-damaged materials, and damp surfaces. These can be a breeding place for mold and mildews, microorganisms, and bugs.
- Mold and mildew
- Symptoms or reactions after remodeling, relocating, weatherizing, purchasing brand-new furniture, or using home or hobby products
- If you feel healthier outside the building or at home
At South End Heating and Air, we are Charlotte’s affordable AC experts. Call us anytime for a free consult and free estimate. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.