Air pollutants can come from a variety of sources. Nowadays, ambient outdoor pollution is no longer the only threat, but rather its household pollutants that raise health concerns. Most household pollutants cause noncommunicable diseases such as stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. See below for the top places indoor pollution could be lurking in your home.
- Kitchen Appliances – According to the World Health Organization, about 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using polluting fuels, including wood, coal and kerosene. Using polluting stoves with solid fuels and kerosene causes nearly 4 million deaths from illnesses each year. The stove, along with the oven burning away food waste leads to exposure to carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. Not to be forgotten, toasters, woks, and deep fryers can also release particle matters. Smoke from cooking can also be emitted by kerosene for cooking, heating or lighting.
- Cleaning Products – Harmful cleaning products can not only affect your eyes and skin, they can affect your respiratory health, too. This is because many cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOC), which affect air quality and eventually outdoor smog. Other harmful ingredients include ammonia, bleach, and phosphate. Even natural scents like citrus can react to produce dangerous pollutants. Pollutants from cleaning supplies contribute to chronic respiratory issues, allergies, and headaches. Avoid products that do not contain VOC’s, fragrances, irritants and flammable ingredients. You can view a list of products deemed safe from the Environmental Protection Agency.
- New Furniture – New furniture is exciting, but it can also bring some pollutants with it. According the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease, formaldehyde can be found at a higher level in new wood products such as flooring and furniture, and even some fabrics. This includes cabinets, plywood, particle board, and laminate flooring. Fabrics include permanently pressed fabrics such as curtains or drapes.
- Household products – Household products such as glues, caulks, pesticides, cosmetics and detergents can also contain pollutants. Your new nursey may be coming together, but the air quality may be falling apart. New paint and protective coatings specifically are a large source of VOC’s indoors. Many of these are irritants or odors. New paint drying contains pollutants 100 times higher than outdoors and can continue even 6 months after application. Formaldehyde can also be formed.
- Particle pollutions – These pollutants are spread through various ways throughout your home. Pollen, a common allergen, can be accidentally brought it from outdoors. Then there’s dust from furniture and our dead skin cells, which attracts dust mites. Our furry friends can also pose as pollutants. Pet dander also attracts them, in addition to be a potential allergen.
- Au natural – The thing you can’t escape. Radon is a naturally occurring gas, that without proper ventilation, can have health potential health risks.
Now that you know some pollutants that could be lingering in your home, you may be thinking, “What can I do about it?” The good news is there’s more and more products coming on the market to fight these pollutants such as air purifiers. Take a look into “Does my baby need an air purifier?” for the 411!