Toxic Air Pollutants - Unhealthy Indoor Air
The air that most people breathe in their homes and places of work is full of toxic air pollutants. This is a major concern since most people spend up to 90 % of their lives indoors. The air quality in a typically home has been tested to be as much as five times more polluted than outdoor air. It can even be worse in newly constructed homes. The use of all the latest non-green technologies and the way homes are constructed are the leading cause of indoor air toxicity.
In the past few years the latest trend is to have the home as air tight as possible, making them more energy efficient. This results is the lack of the home being able to breathe and the accumulation of toxic air pollutants. Homes need to breathe just like you do, except they need to breathe to exchange toxic air for clean air.
Due to this energy efficiency wave much more toxic air is now trapped inside the home and includes, cigarette smoke, fumes from gas ovens and stoves, wood burning fire places and stoves and other particles. Other toxic air causing items in the home are cleaning agents, aerosols, air fresheners, and disinfectants. These last ones are there because we are more efficient in keeping our homes clean and disinfected to control germs, plus we want our homes to smell better which may not be the best thing for our lungs. One of the things you can do to lessen the effects of toxic air is to place an air purifier in your home or apartment.
The types of toxic air pollutants that are contained in home cleaners include cellosolve, an irritant, neurotoxic substances that may cause liver and kidney disease; carcinogenic chemicals that cause cancer; crystalline silica which is an eye and lung irritant, along with being carcinogenic; and paradichlorobenzine which is toxic to kidneys and liver, along with being a cancer causing carcinogenic.
Other toxic air pollutants that are contained in the indoor air that you breathe include volatile organic compounds. These compounds are contained in many everyday products that are used in the construction materials in your home or you bring in your home everyday. These products include paint, paint thinners, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, glues, adhesives, and permanent markers. Additional products that contain organic compounds include cosmetics, degreasing compounds, hobby products, disinfectants, and any fuels that you may use for heating foods.
Even though asbestos is not allowed to be used in building products today, many older homes still have asbestos in them. Because of the cost of removing asbestos, most of the time it is left in place. As long it is left undisturbed it is safe. So if you have asbestos in your home do not try to remove it or disturb it.
Humans themselves also emit a toxic air pollutant. We emit Carbon Dioxide (CO2), which is transmitted into the air every time you exhale. High levels CO2 are indicative of everyone in the home having frequent headaches and being drowsy frequently.