Americans and British people spend an estimated 90% of their time behind closed doors, meaning our indoor air quality has never been so important. However, new research has highlighted the hidden dangers of breathing in polluted air from inside our own homes.
Cooking, cleaning, and even our pets are among the common pollutants that can negatively impact the quality of our indoor air. High levels of prolonged exposure to pollution can cause adverse health effects like respiratory infections, heart disease, certain cancers, and even death.
How Indoor Pollution Affects Children
Babies and children are among the most susceptible to the negative effects of poor indoor air quality as their lungs are still developing. Indoor air pollution contributing to approximately two-thirds of the total exposure.
Indoor air can have a large impact on our children’s health, causing chronic nasal congestion, coughing, and difficulty sleeping because of respiratory symptoms—to name the most common symptoms
How To Improve The Air Quality In Your Home
Understandably, the idea that pollution can exist inside your home and potentially be harming your family’s health can feel alarming. However, there are plenty of practical changes you can make to clean up the quality of your indoor air.
Ban Smoking Indoors
When it comes to smoking, the advice is clear: both firsthand and secondhand smoke (known as environmental tobacco smoke or ETS) is harmful to your and your family’s health. ETS releases approximately 7,000 chemicals into the air, 250 of which have been identified as poisonous and a further 70 are known carcinogens.
Ventilate Cooking Fumes
When cooking or heating your home with gas, tiny particles of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) are released into the air which can exacerbate respiratory symptoms of asthma in children. To avoid this and to reduce indoor pollution, use a vent or extractor fan when cooking and ensure that it is vented to the outside of the home.
Remove Allergen Sources
For children who suffer a severe reaction to an indoor allergen, the only impactful way of improving symptoms is to remove the source of the allergen.
There are a variety of strategies that can help reduce exposure to that allergen/those allergens, but it is difficult to reduce allergen levels by a lot without removing the animal (or mold) that is the source of the allergen.