Pollution is a problem many of us think exists outside our homes rather than inside. In fact, inside air can be more polluted than outside air. Household products you’re using every day could contain toxic contaminants.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises that even one exposure to bad indoor air pollution can cause symptoms like headaches, nausea and dizziness. Small particles can easily get into your lungs and even go into your bloodstream.
You are able to stop many pollutants from floating around your home simply by changing your air conditioning filters every 30-90 days and more often if you suffer from allergies.
5 Star Repair services offer AC repair in Houston, and have highly trained service technicians who will use the latest digital tools to check whether your HVAC system is working efficiently. Here are five causes of polluted indoor air and some solutions to reduce the problem.
- Cleaning products
Many cleaning products can irritate the throat and eyes as well as causing other health problems. Bleach and ammonia are two harmful ingredients found in many household cleaners.
Some of them release dangerous, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause headaches, allergic reactions and chronic respiratory issues. Detergents and dishwashing liquids, furniture and floor polish, oven cleaners as well as carpet and rug cleaners are some of the offenders.
There are many alternatives to products containing harmful chemicals that you can use to clean your home efficiently. Products containing baking soda, lemon, or vinegar are some commonly used alternatives.
- Aerosol sprays
Some products you use in your home don’t only pollute your household air but also contribute to outside pollution because they contain VOCs. You should avoid using aerosol sprays whenever possible. Air fresheners can send formaldehyde and other VOCs not only into the air but onto surfaces throughout your home.
In fact, some of them emit over 100 different chemicals which can trigger migraines, allergy attacks and breathing issues. Try using natural herbs such as basil, mint, lavender or rosemary instead to fill your home with a sweet-smelling aroma.
Interior wall paints are a recognized source of VOCs. When indoor paint is drying, indoor VOC levels are far higher than outside levels and VOC emission can continue for some time after application. The actual chemicals released by paint will depend on the chemical formulation.
To minimize the health risks, you can choose low-VOC paints and keep windows open while painting and for the time the paint takes to dry. Try not to store paint cans in the home because gases can leak, even from a sealed container.
Pesticides are one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution. The chemicals may kill bugs effectively but they are harmful to human health. Modern pesticides may be safer but for years, products commonly used are now believed to be linked to cancer and other diseases.
Safety when using pesticides involves controlling exposure through inhalation, skin or eye contact. To minimize exposure, you should rather go for a gel or solid over a spray. You can choose pesticides that are labeled organic or non-toxic, although they take much longer to work and often have to be reapplied.
- Dry-Cleaned Clothes
When you pick up clothes from the dry cleaner, you can’t help noticing a certain smell. This is because a certain chemical called perchloroethylene is commonly used in the dry-cleaning process.
When you bring the clothes home, your family could be inhaling this chemical, which is potentially harmful and has been linked to cancer in animals. Air your dry-cleaned clothes for several days before you wear them.