It’s a fact that most of us seek pollution only outside the doors of our homes, but surprisingly and without our knowledge there are a number of products we use in the house everyday, which are sources of air pollution. Chemicals, smoke, carbon monoxide and many other products that can cause headaches, flu-symptoms and other health problems are present throughout the house. For instance your cleaning products, varnishes and paints release organic chemicals on application and so on. There are many other potential sources of air pollution in the house, and here’s a list of the 6 most common sources present in your house:
Companies selling air purifiers have always advocated the goodness of the presence of ozone. According to them, it is ozone that helps kill the bacteria and mold and thus purifying the air you breathe. But, if you ask health officials, ozone is a harmful air pollutant. It is the chief component of smog that can scar your lung tissues, cause coughing fits and also trigger asthma. Inhaling too much of ozone can also cause other permanent damage which may shorten your life.
So many of us enjoy the smell of paint in our homes, but remember inhaling it can lead to a number of health problems, especially if you inhale lead paint. Although banned in many parts of the world, old homes with lead paint peeling off the walls can easily stick on the hands of children and get transferred to their mouth and stomach. New paint may not contain lead traces, but it does release volatile organic compounds that may affect the air you breathe, especially over a long period of time. The best way to avoid this problem is to look for low VOC or No-VOC paint.
One obvious reason for carpets to feature in this list is that carpets are storehouses of dirt, dust, pet dander and also bacteria and fungus which can be harmful for the health of house inmates. Other than this, a less obvious but more dangerous impact carpets have on homes is the presence of formaldehyde. It’s a chemical used in the manufacture carpets that can off gas and fill and entire room. The harmful effects of formaldehyde include irritation in the nose and the throat. It can also trigger asthma; lead to lung damage and more dangerously cause cancer.
With lesser time to clean homes, all of us are now using easy cleaning products including spray bottles and sponges that break up dirt from surfaces to keep them looking like new. But, these very cleaners release unhealthy compounds in the air. One thing which the most important to keep in mind is – never mix a chlorine based cleanser with ammonia or vinegar. Mixing these two compounds can result in the formation of chlorine gas, which if inhaled can also lead to death. Cleaners can also contain other toxic solvents, pesticides and other nasty chemicals. Instead of using these market products, the better way out is to use a mix of vinegar and baking soda that will work as effectively.
The problem with cabinets and furniture, especially wooden furniture is the same as with carpets. The manufacturing of cabinets and furniture also involves the use of Formaldehyde. It is present in anything made from pressed wood, which includes your countertops, shelves, and other items in the house. The wooden layers are glued together using formaldehyde and over time it starts releasing gases in the air that can prove harmful for the health of the inmates, especially small children, elderly and people with a sensitive immune system. The best way to avoid them is to not buy any pressed wood furniture or cabinets for the house. Instead there are so many attractive environmentally friendly options today; you won’t even miss the look and feel of wood anymore.
Just like ventilating the bathroom is essential to net let any mold and mildew accumulate over the walls and ceiling of the bathroom, it is also essential to keep the kitchen well ventilated. The simple act of cooking food on a gas stove is actually enough to pollute the air can introduce unsafe levels of nitrogen dioxide in it. The presence of nitrogen dioxide can trigger asthma and in the long run introduce other respiratory problems. In addition to this, the accumulation of the steam over the walls and ceilings of the kitchen can promote the growth of mold and mildew, which is harmful for the health of the inmates. All this in no way means you stop eating at home, it only means that you should install a proper chimney, exhausting fan and also have other provisions for keeping the kitchen properly ventilated.