How to reduce indoor air pollution in the home
Understanding where sources of indoor air pollution come from can help us to reduce our risk of health concerns.
The health effects felt from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or in some cases many years later.
Some of the immediate effects felt from indoor air pollution are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution.
We should pay close attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms lessen or go away completely when you are away from a specific area, you may have been affected.
The health costs of toxic air are estimated at £20billion a year (Royal College of Physicians & Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health)
Common health effects from indoor air pollution
Research carried out by the (EPA) Environmental Protection Agency has proven that inadequate ventilation and chemical contaminants from indoor, outdoor and biological sources are a significant contributor to poor indoor air quality.
Pollutants come from many sources both from our homes and places of work. Pay close attention to MDF furniture, synthetic carpets, paints and cleaning products. Furthermore, vehicle emissions, bacteria and moulds brought in to the home from the outside all contribute to indoor air pollution.
Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels in the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some contaminants. If too little outdoor air enters indoors, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems.
Air quality is the single biggest environmental hazard in the world (WHO)
Top Five Tips
Increase ventilation when cooking, and always use an extractor fan. Make sure you replace filters regularly.
Tightly sealed homes can no longer breathe, trapping in toxic pollutants. Open windows and doors throughout the day to replenish stale toxic air.
Invest in an air purifier, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions when removing filters and clean the air purifier regularly.
Buy FSC certified wood furniture. The FSC certification promotes responsible management of forests and labels the products eco-friendly.
Buy pre-loved furniture from auction sites such as eBay, Gumtree and Pre-loved. The furniture will have aged so will have already gone through the off-gassing process.