Indoor air pollution not only reduces air quality, but also poses a variety of health risks. To improve air quality indoors, finding and reducing the source of air pollutants is necessary, especially during the winter months when people tend to spend more time indoors.
Some sources of indoor air pollution can be eliminated; however, others can only be reduced. Finding the sources of indoor air pollution can be simple for many pollutants, but difficult for others. Removing or reducing pollutants from the air will lead to improved air quality.
Sources of Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution is caused by numerous contaminants in the air. These fine particles originate from many different sources. Finding sources of air pollutants and eliminating or reducing emissions can improve air quality; therefore, reducing potential health risks.
Some indoor air pollutant sources include biological contaminants like pollen, mold and mildew; gases like radon gas and carbon monoxide; tobacco smoke; household products and pesticides; and building materials.
Reducing Sources of Pollutants
Some sources of indoor air pollution are simple to eliminate; however, others are difficult. Reducing the source of air pollutants can include banning tobacco smoking inside the home to eliminate harmful effects of contaminants. Second hand smoke poses a health risk, especially to young children and persons with respiratory problems.
For gases, such as carbon monoxide and radon gas, test kits are available to determine if the gases exist in the home and if the levels are harmful.
Other sources, such as mildew and mold, are more difficult to detect. Generally, household mold has a distinctive musty odor. Getting rid of mold will reduce air pollutants. In addition, removing mildew can improve air quality.
Researching products before buying can reduce the chances of bringing pollutants into the home. For example, reading labels on household products to learn which products contain hazardous chemicals before buying can be helpful when choosing a product.
Improving Air Quality
Pollutants, such as radon gas or combustible fuel source gases, can build up inside homes. Air ventilation in the home can lower concentrations of indoor air pollutants. Some ways to improve home air quality is to increase air ventilation in the home by opening windows and doors. Clean fresh air will improve the air quality.
According to Consumer Reports, “Use exhausts hoods or fans in the kitchen and bathroom to reduce your exposure and minimize humidity that can cause mold and mildew.”
Numerous types of air cleaning devices are available for home use; however, not all perform the same function with respect to different pollutants, so careful research is recommended when considering an air-cleaning device.
Finding the source of indoor air pollution is important to eliminating and reducing pollutants. Once the source is pinpointed, determining whether a pollutant can be eliminated or reduced can be assessed and action taken to reduce pollutants. Along with these steps, ventilation and air cleaning devices, if necessary, can help improve air quality. Two essential devices in improving the indoor air are air purifiers and vacuum cleaners.