What is certain is that people spend most of their time inside. The average person spends about 87% of their time indoors, not to talk about the time spent in the car. As surprising as it may seem, you spend only a small percentage of our lives outside. It is commonly believed that being inside all day is bad because it fuels anxiety, but the truth is that staying indoors for too long a time can make you sick. The air that you breathe can be hazardous for the health and, to make matters worse, this risk is simply unavoidable. Indoor air pollutants are all around you, which is the reason why it is important to see if there is anything polluting the safe air in your home. This issue is especially important if you have the tendency to spend a lot of time indoors.
Why It Is Important To Measure Indoor Air Quality
Clean is rather a subjective notion. If you ask a number of people what they understand by the term clean, you will most likely get different answers. Fortunately, indoor air quality testing is nothing but objective. A trained professional is capable of telling whether or not there are sources of poor indoor air quality. Nevertheless, why is it important to have the indoor environment tested in the first place? After all, air pollution is an outdoor threat, no? As stated previously, the indoor atmosphere is more polluted indoors is more polluted than the outdoor environment and the air that you breathe inside your home can put your health at risk.
- Short-term effects
The air will not only affect your health and comfort, but also that of your family too. Health effects can occur immediately after being exposed to pollutants. Common symptoms include but are not limited to irritation of the nose, eyes, throat, vertigo, and fatigue. These symptoms are typical sings of illness, namely the cold and the flu, so it is not thus surprising that most people do not attribute them to air pollution.
- Long-term effects
While the effects can be managed, long-term exposure to contaminants can result in diseases such as asthma. Some illnesses can even be life threatening. Take pulmonary disease, for example. Pulmonary disease develops into cancer and, unfortunately, children are one mostly affected. Cardiovascular affects are non-negligible too. Being constantly exposed to pollutants is bad for your heart because the blood functioning is impaired.
If you are worried about the air inside your home, you should have the space tested.
Common Pollutants That Cause Indoor Air Problems
Understanding what some of the most common pollutants are is important because it will help you find solutions and, consequently, improve your health. While the individuals sources are not that harmful on their own, most homes have more than one pollutant. There are numerous sources of indoor air pollution in the home, but the following ones are the most dangerous:
Combustion refers to the gases and particles that come from appliances such as gas ranges, heaters, ovens, water heaters and, generally, burning materials. Tobacco smoke has a place in this category too. Combustion contaminants react when they are combined with oxygen, in which moment they release monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. A good supply of outdoor air is needed, yet in most homes ventilation does not function properly.
Moulds pose health challenges in the home and they are notorious air polluters. These fungi produce spores that float in the atmosphere and you inevitably inhale them. Exposure to moulds can cause symptoms like allergies, eye and skin irritation and nasal stuffiness. The health effects vary according to the person’s sensitivity.
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that has no odour, color or taste. It is also responsible for lung cancer. The gas dissipates into the house, making its way through the gaps, and reaching the lower floors. As you breathe, the particles are deposited into the cells lining. Your DNA and is damaged and lung cancer can develop.
Asbestos has been used for building construction materials, but it is not anymore due to its toxic nature. If you have vermiculite-based insulation or if your house is particularly old, you might have asbestos. Similar to radon, asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Indoor air quality monitoring matters
Once the hazardous contaminants are identified, you can take measures to improve the quality of the indoor space. What you can do is increase the amount of outdoor ventilation and get an air cleaner. Nonetheless, there is no guarantee that the ambience is safe. This is the reason why you need to monitor the environmental characteristics inside the home. Monitoring is essential to ensure you have a safe and comfortable living space. Keeping out an eye for warning signs is crucial. Pollutant levels can fluctuate, so continuous monitoring is required. Companies that provide air inspection services offer monitoring services too.