The health dangers of breathing polluted air are well documented. We’re constantly surrounded by health warnings on how pollution and air toxins are affecting the planet and although many people have been seeking our greener alternatives, it seems the situation isn’t improving.
Many people think of air pollution as an ‘outdoor only’ problem, but pollution can also affect the air inside our homes. The air that you breathe at home is the same air, just confined to a smaller space. This means that it is just as likely to carry pollutants as the air outside.
People spend 90% of their free time indoors, so it’s extremely important that you’re breathing clean air. Here, gas boiler supplier Daikin take you through how to improve the air quality in your home:
What is Toxic House Syndrome?
Toxic House Syndrome is also known as Sick Building Syndrome and the NHS has outlined several potential causes for symptoms of this illness. Dust, smoke, bad ventilation, and inadequately maintained air conditioning units are all cited as potentially contributing towards the problem.
The World Health Organization outlined the following risks of extremely poor indoor air quality:
· Ischaemic heart disease
· Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
· Lung cancer
Though the impact of toxic household air is more apparent in poor and low-income countries, who still use solid fuels like wood, waste, and charcoal, more developed countries are still adding to their indoor pollutants.
What causes poor indoor air quality?
Here, we take a look at some of the main causes of air pollution in the workplace and at home. An article by the British Lung Foundation noted that ventilation, temperature, damp, cooking, smoking, pets, cleaning products, and pollution from outside all build up within our homes. It’s worth opening the windows of your home for at least a little time every day, especially when you’re cooking. Check your home for damp too — this can cause myriad health problems, so you’ll want to treat it as soon as possible if found.
Scented candles are extremely popular now, but unfortunately, they aren’t too good for your lungs. The chemicals used to perfume candles for their scent can contain harmful substances like benzene and toluene. The same goes for air fresheners, regardless of if they are spray or plug-in. The fresh scent is achieved by chemicals, which you let into your home when you use them, so if you’re looking to freshen up, best stick to opening the windows and cleaning the home with natural products.
Not many people are aware of this, but cleaning sprays disperse chemicals into the air. It’s better to opt for liquid cleaners that you can pour as much as you need. Consider other sprays too (deodorant, hair spray, etc) and only use them in well-ventilated areas.
How can you purify the air in your home?
So, we’ve talked about letting go of air fresheners and the toxins they contain. But you still need a way to freshen up your home without having the windows open all the time, right? Luckily, there are loads of natural air fresheners you can make, and they’re very easy to create. The Natural Penguin offers loads of great ideas — we’re particularly fond of the oil-scented wood blocks, they’re simple and would look boho-chic in a glass bowl mixed with some dried flowers or glass pebbles.
Plants are also excellent for cleaning up air toxins. NASA has even conducted a study of the best air-purifying plants out there; try some aloe vera in the bedroom, or a spider plant in the kitchen! Ask your employer if it’s possible to bring some greenery into the office too.
Air purification systems can help you get rid of outdoor pollutants inside your home. These powerful systems actively filter the air you breathe, capturing any harmful particles or pollutants and keeping the air as fresh as possible. Air purifiers can help lower allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as reduce the number of bacteria in the air you breathe. They’re also a great way to neutralise odours without resorting to harmful air fresheners.
It’s easy to forget about air quality when going about our day to day lives. But it’s not something you can avoid! Take a look around your indoor spaces and ask yourself — what exactly am I breathing in every day?
"Toxic House Syndrome is also known as Sick Building Syndrome and the NHS has outlined several potential causes for symptoms of this illness"
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