Health Effects Of Bad Indoor Air Quality

Are you aware that indoor air pollution can be 5 times worse than outdoor air pollution? The American Environmental Protection Agency ranks home air quality among the top five public health concerns. About 4.3 million people globally die as a result of household air pollution. Knowing how to clear the air in your home can in a huge way minimize these fatalities. The World Health Organization recently formulated a wide range of comprehensive interventions on reducing indoor air pollution. These interventions mainly involve the use of clean alternative fuels and natural sources of energy such as biogas and solar energy. They also involve getting rid of home furniture with toxic PBDEs, air fresheners, home cleaning detergents filled with chemicals, poor ventilation and toxic smoke from candles.

Naturalists in sustainable living have so far discovered a wide variety of homemade cleaning products to replace the chemically manufactured ones. This goes a long way in improving how indoor air quality affects your health.

Respiratory Health Effects

The respiratory system is unfortunately the main target for indoor air pollution effects. Air pollution related respiratory diseases are so far the biggest causes of adult mortality in Colorado. They include lower and upper respiratory tract infections, diseases of the pulmonary such as chronic bronchitis, irritation occurring in the airways and manifestation of various allergic reactions. These respiratory effects are mainly as a result of the body’s immediate and gradual response to chemicals present in household cleaners, body sprays, pesticides and furnitures.

Health Effects To The Heart

Back in 2004, a scientific statement issued by the American Heart Association, concluded that air pollution exposure is a primary cause of mortality and cardiovascular problems. In the short term, indoor air pollution in a huge way contributes to heart attack, arrhythmias, stroke and heart failure especially to those with already existing conditions and the elderly. Polluted home air also plays a major role in heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Common Symptoms

As a result of inhalation of poor quality air within your house, you are bound to develop certain symptoms. You may start feeling fatigued and tired for no good reason. Headaches and dizziness spells due to low oxygen and high carbon monoxide levels in the body become more common. You may also experience irritated and dry eyes, difficulty in breathing, more mucus in the respiratory tract and sneezing due to the effects of pollutants.

How To Keep Your Air Clean

This simply means living an ecologically responsible lifestyle. It begins with getting rid of the cleaning chemicals in your home. These chemicals contain volatile organic compounds that get into the air and then into our bodies. Vinegar and water make a very effective natural and eco friendly cleaner. For laundry purposes, saponin, which is extracted from quinoa makes a very good natural detergent. To some extent, you might also consider getting fans and HEPA filtering vacuums to clean off dust particles more often.

Air Purifying Plants

Plants are often referred to as ‘nature’s life support systems’. This is due to their ability to purify air through absorption of particles in the air. Microorganisms present in indoor flower pots are also effective in the purifying process. The garden mum plant absorbs ammonia, benzene, xylene and formaldehyde. Other indoor plants such as the snake plant, bamboo palm, aloe vera, and the weeping fig absorb trichloroethylene among other air polluting gases. It is in naturing these plants that one gets rid of air pollutants in their homes.

Indoor air if often more polluted than outdoor air. This is due to use of cosmetics such as hair sprays, fumes from cooking stoves, paint, smoke from firewood and contaminants from outside. Ventilation may also be very poor thus trapping pollutants within the house. People happen to spend a lot of time in their homes especially in the nights and exposing themselves to so much contamination unknowingly. It is therefore important to take measures towards improving indoor air quality.

By – Sally Writes

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