With spring in full bloom, many individuals experience the unpleasant side effects of pollen exposure. Itchy eyes and runny noses persuade people to evaluate the quality of air in their homes. Residential pollutant exposures extend beyond the spring season and may cause various health issues.
Fortunately, purification methods can reduce contact with unwanted air pollutants. To understand the best air-filtering techniques for your home, we must first evaluate the potential contaminants.
Residential Air Pollutants
There are three main categories of contaminants that affect residents' health. If your home contains mold and pollen, harmful gases or toxic building materials, you may benefit from air purification.
Mold and Pollen
All homes contain small traces of mold. Although this may not be an issue for some, other individuals experience unwanted effects from exposure. Mold can cause wheezing, itchy and red eyes, skin reactions and a stuffy nose.
Encountering large quantities of mold in the home may cause a rare disease — hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The illness creates recurring flu-like symptoms and weakens the immune system.
Traces of pollen in the home, brought in from outdoor pets and clothing, may cause an itchy throat and eyes, nasal congestion, wheezing and sneezing. Both pollen and mold can increase the occurrence of asthma attacks.
Carbon monoxide is a gas trapped in the home through home appliances that fail to burn fuel thoroughly. Gas fires, water heaters, central heating systems and more have the potential to release this pollutant inside your house.
Carbon monoxide poses severe health risks. When you consume the gas in high quantities, it reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. Deoxygenation causes headaches, dizziness, chest pains, unconsciousness and sometimes death.
Radon is another gas that pollutes homes near decaying uranium in the ground. It travels into the house through holes and cracks in the foundation. Radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer, causing nearly 21,000 deaths annually.
Occupants of older homes may experience exposure to pollutants deriving from toxic building materials that are now banned. Asbestos was an insulation component that can still be found in many homes. When exposed to this harmful material, residents may develop asbestosis.
This condition scars the lungs, making it difficult to obtain sufficient amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide. It may take many years for symptoms to arise, allowing exposure to continue over time.
Asbestos inhalation may also prompt pleural disease. The lung condition causes the chest cavity membrane to thicken and fluid to develop. The pleural illness can cause difficulty breathing and degradation in lung functionality.
Formaldehyde is another pollutant found in building materials that harms the health of residents. You may find this contaminant in plywood, fiberboard, glues, paper coatings and specific insulation products. Formaldehyde is carcinogenic to occupants and increases their risk for leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer.
To efficiently filter these pollutants out of your home's air, you will need to use an activated carbon filter. This purification system removes gas and volatile organic compounds in your house to keep you and other residents safe. Even if you cannot see or smell pollutants, they may be residing in your living spaces and cause unpleasant and sometimes fatal effects.
To rid your home of harmful contaminants, you can utilize various air purification methods. Houseplants are an elegant and healthy addition to your house. They remove carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and other pollutants from the air. Bringing plants into your home is a cost-effective way to increase your air quality.
You can open your windows to recirculate pure air in your house. Running a window air conditioner may also allow a clean breeze into the home and force contaminated elements out. You can use kitchen and bathroom fans that send exhaust outside to filter out pollutants further.
Portable home purification systems can efficiently remove contaminants from your home and circulate healthy air. When you bring an air purifier into your house, you significantly decrease your exposure to harmful mold and pollen, gases and building material debris.
Choosing What Is Best for You
Evaluate your home for heightened contaminants through professional inspections and symptom recognition. There are various air purification systems available to residents that effectively filter toxins out of your house. Protect your health and the planet by maintaining pristine air quality in your home.
Written by Jane Marsh
About the Author
Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.
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