Air pollution can have a serious impact on your health, affecting everyone no matter where they live. It’s hard to pinpoint all the effects air pollutants have due to the fact they are so complex and have many different sources, however, once inhaled, air pollutants can affect the respiratory system and the lungs. When out on the street, you are inhaling pollutants on a regular basis, and in many parts of the world, outdoor air quality is so bad due to soot and smog in the atmosphere which can lead to many serious health conditions after repeated exposure.
However, air pollutants aren’t just found outside. In fact, they are more commonly found inside the home. This means that even when you think that your home is a healthy, safe and clean environment for you and your family, it could in fact be making you all ill due to the number of pollutants that are in its atmosphere. If you were unaware of the many air pollutants that could be causing you to become unwell, read on and learn more about the types and their causes.
Common Types Of Outdoor Air Pollution
- Ozone – this gas is in the air, and while good ozone is in the upper atmosphere of the Earth, shielding us from the harmful UV rays of the sun, bad ozone is close to the ground and is caused by emissions from power plants, cars, chemical plants, refineries and industrial boilers have a chemical reaction in sunlight. Many people are sensitive to this pollutant, especially those who are outdoors and participating in physical activities. Those with lung problems are especially sensitive as their symptoms are often worsened however over time with high exposure everyone can find that they suffer from more tightness in the chest, throat pain and increased coughing.
- Particle Pollution – this is a mix of liquid droplets and solids which come in several sizes, but the smallest can enter the lungs causing health issues. Some come from emissions from wood burning, car exhausts, agricultural burning and industrial processes while coarse particles can come from grinding operations and road dust. Fine particles can cause lung or heart disease in serious cases, and respiratory problems in less serious ones.
- Carbon monoxide – colorless and odourless, carbon monoxide is produced mainly from vehicle exhausts but also from fuel combustion and forest fires. It can affect vison and alertness and have serious consequences for those with cardiovascular disease.
- Sulfur dioxide – this colorless gas is created when fuels like oil and coal which contain sulfur are burned. Power plants are a major source and the health effects include aggravation of respiratory conditions, wheezing, and shortness of breath, even in healthy people.
In many cities, soot and smog in the air causes serious health problems for the population, with even short term exposure causing breathing difficulties and long term exposure having been linked to a host of other more serious concerns like lung disease and cardiovascular problems.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants
Inside the home, the contaminants may not appear to be so serious, but they can have equally unpleasant consequences for your health. Some of the most common air pollutants to be found in the home include:
- Pollen – open windows and air vents within the home can cause pollen from outside the property to enter in and aggravate allergic reactions. Those who have hayfever are especially susceptible to pollen and results in watery eyes, a running nose and excessive sneezing.
- Dust – dust in the home causes itching of the eyes, coughing, sneezing and breathing difficulties, and no matter how often you vacuum and dust your house you will not be able to get rid of all of it without the help of an air purifier.
- Mold spores – whenever moisture or dampness is allowed to go unchecked in your home, mold spores can be the result. They can be extremely hazardous to your health if left untreated as they can cause serious illnesses, especially for those who have a compromised immune system.
- Pet dander and fur – if you have cats, dogs or other furry animals inside your home, you will find that dander and fur will end up being spread around your home and finding its way into your carpets, rugs and soft furnishings. Even if you vacuum regularly and keep pets from your bedroom and furniture, you’ll still find that dander and fur can cause allergic reactions in those who are susceptible which can include sore, itching eyes, sneezing, rashes and breathing problems, especially in those who already have a respiratory condition.
- Tobacco smoke – if anyone smokes in your home, you will find that tobacco smoke is another pollutant in your atmosphere. Second hand smoke is a well known health problem and ongoing exposure can result in serious heart and lung problems including cancer and emphysema. Even short term exposure can cause respiratory difficulties and it can aggravate an existing asthma condition.
- Volatile organic compounds – VOCs are released from chemicals like common household cleaning products which are emitted into the environment. While you are trying to keep your home hygienic and clean by using these products you could actually be worsening your family’s health by causing breathing problems and aggravating existing allergies and asthma.
It is clear that even if you have a thorough cleaning regime inside your home, you cannot complete get rid of all common air pollutants inside your property through dusting, vacuuming and cleaning alone. A HEPA filter vacuum cleaner and a HEPA air purifier can go a long way towards resolving these problems and to drastically reducing the number of contaminants in your living space.
If you need help finding a suitable air purifier for your home, or simply want more of our expert advice, check out our homepage! It’s the best place to find current reviews of the best air purifiers you can buy.
To find out more about the many different pollutants that you will encounter both inside and outside your home, visit this website. Here, you’ll find plenty of helpful information so that you can take steps to improve your home air quality and help you and your family to live in a healthier, pollutant free living environment.