Common Indoor Pollutants and Their Effects on Human Health

The pandemic has changed people’s lives these past few years. Society had to alter its existing schedules and functions, with many, if not all Americans, forced to stay at home for a long period.

The mandates and fear of contracting the virus resulted in Americans spending 62 percent of their waking hours at home, rising from the 50 percent spent staying indoors in 2019. 

Since many Americans still opt to remain in their houses, a lot find themselves worrying about the air quality indoors. Here are some common pollutants you need to track to ensure better air quality in your home. 

1. Biological Pollutants

Biological pollutants come from living organisms. Considering you encounter these pollutants regularly, you may know them as bacteria, viruses, molds, fungus, and pet dander.

Aside from pet dander, mold is one of the most common biological pollutants indoors. Molds form when moisture triggers their growth. Also, they can cause allergic reactions in some people, such as skin irritations, respiratory issues, headaches, and sneezing.

Households with air conditioning units should be extra vigilant against molds since these units pull moisture out of the air, concentrating it further. Check for molds frequently so that once you find them, you can call a professional to remove them from the air conditioning unit.

2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are substances you may find in everyday household products, such as perfumes, solvents, cleaners, paints, and thinners. You can also find VOCs in fuels, adhesives, and pesticides.

VOCs are harmful to the environment since they pollute the air, resulting in poor air quality. VOCs can cause allergic reactions such as itchy eyes, headaches, and rashes in moderate amounts. VOCs can result in pneumonia, respiratory issues, and even cancer in extreme amounts.

You need to make sure that all paints, varnishes, and adhesives are sealed and have proper storage to secure your home. Moreover, you must acquire professional HVAC services to ensure your home is well-ventilated.

3. Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas. This colorless and odorless gas can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and decreased coordination.

Too much exposure to CO could lead to death. If you have fuel-burning appliances indoors, such as gas stoves and heating systems, CO can build up in the air. You should have these fuel-burning appliances inspected periodically and, if possible, have them replaced with electric or gasless models.

You may also want to book HVAC services for better ventilation and dedicate more time to cleaning to avoid accumulating dirt that may increase the risk of CO emission indoors.

4. Second-Hand Smoke

Do you have a smoker in your household? If so, you will need to be wary of second-hand smoke, especially if they do it on the premises.

Second-hand smoke comes from the burning of tobacco particles. It’s a silent killer, given that it has a significant effect on human health. Some to note are lung cancer, asthma attacks, and heart diseases. It can also cause irritations.

If a family member regularly smokes indoors, make sure you have an effective air filtration system. You may also want to opt to install a HEPA filter in your home to ensure the air you breathe is clean and safe.

Conclusion

Indoor air quality can impact your family’s health. Monitoring common indoor pollutants that can diminish the air quality is one step you can take to secure your health and safety.

Another step you need to consider is improving your home’s ventilation through professional HVAC services. By doing so, you can breathe easily indoors, no matter how strict the pandemic becomes. 

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