What Am I Breathing?

With all the concern with climate change and outdoor air pollution, we may be forgetting about indoor air pollution. I’m sure you might think, “…great! Just another thing I need to be scared about.” Just being mindful is all you need to be aware about air quality.

         Indoor air pollution is basically the byproduct of what you may consider allergens. However, there may be additional contaminants that were produced by the very materials your house was constructed from. These could be materials like paint, or what builders chose to treat the wood with, along with common cleaning supplies.

         Now with all these materials and resources being so common today, it doesn’t seem like the effect could actually be considered large. Climate change, whether you believe it or not, has an effect on the air we breathe. All of that directly correlates with a person’s health. If you have difficulty breathing or even sleeping, you may want to check the air quality in your home.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “there are many sources of indoor air pollution. These may include:

          ·       Fuel-burning combustion appliances

          ·       Tobacco products

          ·       Building materials and furnishings as diverse as:

o   Deteriorated asbestos-containing insulation

o   Newly installed flooring, upholstery or carpet

o   Cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products

          ·       Products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies

          ·       Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices

          ·       Excess moisture

          ·       Outdoor sources such as:

o   Radon

o   Pesticides

o   Outdoor air pollution.”1

Being aware is one of the key steps in controlling the quality of air you breathe. You can also take further steps like using an air particle monitor to check the air quality, being mindful of the materials used inside your home when you choose to build or renovate and choosing more green products.

In order to improve your home or work indoor air quality, have an air quality test done to see what the particle levels are.  This can be done by either hiring a company that does the test or purchasing a monitor.  If you decide to take on the task of testing your indoor air quality do some research online to be better informed.

1. https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/introduction-indoor-air-quality

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