In 2017, over 1.5 million people died prematurely as a result of indoor air pollution. Globally, air pollution is one of the leading risk factors for death.
What is indoor air pollution? There are many different sources of indoor air pollution, such as gases, chemicals, smoke, cleaners, products, and pests.
Luckily, there are plenty of indoor air quality solutions. Keep reading to learn more about what causes indoor air pollution and 5 surprising sources you might find in your home.
1. Air Fresheners
Many store-bought air fresheners are packed with toxic chemicals. They emit these pollutants at levels that can lead to health risks and damage.
Clean-air advocates compare the toxicity of air fresheners to the toxicity of second-hand smoke.
A lot of the air fresheners on the market contain high levels of ethylene-based glycol ethers, and they’re known to cause blood and neurological effects, such as:
An AC repair company like Scottsdaleair.com can make sure your HVAC system is clean and clear so that you don’t need products like toxic air fresheners to keep the air in your home fresh.
Have you ever enjoyed that “new carpet smell?” The smell is a symptom of off-gassing hazardous VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Carpets contain things like benzene, formaldehyde, styrene, bromine, acetone, toluene, and ethylbenzene. It’s not uncommon for regular exposure to those contaminants to cause allergies, confusion, throat and eye irritation, headaches, and drowsiness.
When exposure is ongoing, victims can experience long-term health problems, learning impairments, decreased fertility, and birth defects. It can also cause diseases to the thyroid, ovaries, blood, kidneys, and liver.
Chemical fire retardants can be found in many household items, like electronics, appliances, baby products, and furniture.
They can make fires more toxic, too, as they form deadly soot and gases. You’ll find fire retardants in things like:
- Carpet padding
- Upholstered chairs
- Car seats
- Crib mattresses
- Nursing pillows
- Changing table pads
- Any furniture containing polyurethane foam
The chemicals used as fire retardants can cause a variety of health and environmental issues.
If you buy candles for your home, buy candles made with beeswax or vegetable oils and without artificial dyes or perfumes.
Paraffin candles are one of the most toxic substances. Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum that’s been whitened using bleach, which is infused with dioxins.
Another chemical, acrolein, gets added to wax candles as a solidifying agent. Acrolein is linked to lung cancer risk from cigarette smoke.
5. Cleaning Products
Many cleaning products release VOCs too. They can lead to chronic respiratory issues. They can also aggravate asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses.
Chlorine bleach is particularly dangerous, especially if it gets mixed with an acidic cleaner, such as vinegar or ammonia.
Use less toxic cleaners, such as vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
Be Aware of Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
From candles to air fresheners, there are many sources of indoor air pollution that can cause detrimental health and environmental issues.
Take the time to review the products you use in your home carefully, and know some vacuum tips on how often to change your HEPA filter and use a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner as often as you can.
If you enjoyed this article, check our blog daily for more tips and tricks on keeping your home a healthy place to be.