Pollution Situation In Your Home
Do you realize that we spend almost 65 percent of our time in our homes? Almost 85 percent of your time or more is spent indoors if your job is spent indoors as well. And during that time indoors how much air are you breathing is fresh, and not recycled from an air conditioner or coming from an air vent? Since we spend so much of our time indoors you might want to realize that you could just be poisoning yourself and hurting your health rather than helping it. There is a reason that doctors recommend people getting outdoors and breathing fresh air, doing activities that will force their lungs to breath. Here are five reasons that you want to spend some time outdoors, or at the very least change how you do things indoors.
We as humans, and our pets all breathe oxygen, but when we exhale we release carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is also produced by animals, by gas, and by our vehicles. Since we are breathing in our homes it is natural for the carbon monoxide to build up, especially in the winter months when all the windows are shut to keep out the cold. During the summer months when the air conditioner is running and those windows and doors are sealed shut yet again, this poison level can increase. Not only can it lead to breathing problems, but it could also lead to suffocation and death. There are many ways to combat the effects of carbon monoxide and keep your air clean in your home. Open the windows and air out the rooms from time to time, at minimum once a week but more often for better results. Keep vents cleaned and keep the garage door shut if it is attached to the house. House plants can help as they use the carbon monoxide and produce oxygen which is a winning situation for both. And a carbon monoxide sensor near your smoke alarm will tell you if the level in your house is getting to high to be safely breathing the air.
Not often heard about as it is unseen with little or no odor, but radon gas is a problem that most people have. This gas comes from the drainage pipes in your home, your sink, toilet and bathtubs. It’s caused from the waste that goes down these pipes and breaks down at the bottom, but the gases that are released float back up the tubes. Again, ventilation is key, but bathrooms have the smallest amount of ventilation than most rooms. In fact, many apartment buildings have bathrooms with no windows in them at all, allowing only a fan as there means of ventilation. Radon gasses cause over 20,000 deaths a year, that’s more than drunk drivers that cause around 17,000 deaths a year.
While we commonly see mold all the time, and often mistake some of it as mildew, it is a problem that can affect your breathing and your health. Often we see it on food, breads and cheeses the most, but other foods as well. We see it in the bathroom along the ceiling and around the bathtub or shower door. While mildew and mold are similar, mildew is often more wet. Mold is a fungus that breaks down materials over time as part of decomposition. It needs food and water to grow which is why it is commonly found in those places. The problem is that mold releases spores which get in your lungs and can make you sick. If you are breathing them on a regular basis, it gets worse and it could make it hard for you to breathe. Black mold is the worst, and the most dangerous which is why houses are often checked for black mold before they are sold or put up for sale. Mold needs to be destroyed not just cleaned or painted over. A mildew remover often does the trick but unless the place is well ventilated it will grow back. Food mold is easy to dispose of and you want to do so as soon as you notice any mold so it doesn’t spread to other foods. Mold can cause an allergic reaction in some people with more exposure the symptoms are more evident.
While it is no longer in use, back in the 50’s and before it was thought that asbestos was the best thing ever to insulate piping. The mixture that makes it prevents the pipes from getting to hot, protecting people from burns and fires in the homes. It wasn’t until years later that it turned out that it was bad for the lungs and caused numerous health problems including cancer. If you live in or work in an older building you might want to check with the building owner to be sure that all asbestos has been removed from the building. If it has not, then you don’t want to work there, or live there without compromising your health. Issues can be treated if detected early, however they are often misdiagnosed unless there is proof that the asbestos is in the building.
While people often know what, they are allergic to, many times those allergies are ones that come from pets, or outdoors such as pollen. But allergies are found indoors as well as outdoors and they are often caused because of the problems in the air. Pet dander is one of the biggest causes. Dust mites are another common indoor allergy which means you need to dust the house often to get rid of them. However, people often think they are allergic to dust, when dust will make you sneeze anyway. What they are probably allergic to is the mold that is in the house and they are thinking the dust is the cause. Pollen from plants and flowers, or tracked in from pets that go outside are another cause of indoor allergies. These allergies are the kind that make it difficult to breathe, clogging up the sinuses or creating a shortness of breath. See a doctor to get your diagnosis before you try and treat the symptoms, but by keeping your home well aired out when possible it will eliminate a lot of the problems.