Can Home Indoor Air be More Polluted than Outdoor Air?

New air filterMany air pollutants exist outdoors, including gas emissions from buses, trucks, cars, and construction equipment. Given how polluted outdoor air can be, some people think that the air is safer when they stay indoors. While it’s true that houses can keep out bad outdoor air, the air homeowners breathe in may be more toxic than the air outside.

Indoor Air Pollution Levels Found to be Five Times Higher

Indoor levels of various pollutants can be between two and five times higher indoors. Some, in fact, can be as much as 100 times higher than that of outdoor levels. Various indoor activities can produce indoor air pollutants, causing the quality of indoor air to decline. Some of these activities include heating, cooking, and smoking. Additionally, the chemicals used in treating carpets and furniture can also contribute to poor air quality. These chemicals can release gases such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the air.

Health Risks Associated with Home Air Pollution

Clinicair, a company specializing in indoor air quality testing, says that a building with polluted air endangers the health of occupants. Indoor air pollution can cause sneezing, coughing, nausea, headache, fatigue, and difficulty in breathing, in fact. Additionally, polluted indoor air puts people at risk of developing breathing and lung conditions, such as allergies, asthma, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Lowering Indoor Air Pollution Levels

So, what can homeowners do to reduce indoor air pollution? They can have the air duct filters cleaned, for a start, as they accumulate a lot of debris and dust. Changing the filters every quarter can also help lower air pollution levels.

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Those who smoke inside their home should either quit smoking or smoke outside. Second-hand smoke contains more than 200 known chemicals, which could jeopardize the health of the smoker and the people around him or her.

Given the dangers of polluted indoor air, homeowners should not take what they breathe in for granted. Decreasing air pollution levels and coming up with ways to purify the air can make a difference in air quality and one’s long-term health.