Facts about air quality and health

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Your house can be potentially lethal if the air quality is horrible inside
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Consider the very real facts about air quality and health

If you had the quality of the air in your home tested you may be surprised and mortified by what you are inhaling daily and what this can potentially do to your health.

Many are unknowingly inhaling fumes from household chemicals, radon, carbon monoxide (which is a killer), biological contaminants, pesticides, lead, formaldehyde and asbestos. 

There is a term for buildings that have poor-quality air: Sick Building Syndrome. You may also hear of "building-related related illness (BRI)” which means a person's health has been impaired by what he is exposed to in a building, which could be his home or workplace. 

The quality of indoor air has become a serious safety issue and occupational hazard. Whole house air purifiers are becoming essential for the health of our families.

When the air quality is inferior, this can result in a variety of health problems include shortness of breath, headaches and nausea. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is affected by the amount of air intake in a building, contaminants that are in a building, such as mold, bacteria, vapors, fungi, dusts and chemicals, as well as insufficient temperature, lighting, humidity and excessive noise.

Every home should have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector because this is a deadly gas that occurs when carbon is not completely oxidized during combustion. 

Each year, many people succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can come from gas space heaters or un-vented kerosene heaters, gas water heaters, leaking furnaces or chimneys, wood stoves, gas stove, equipment that is gasoline-powered, tobacco smoke and car exhaust. 

If there is carbon monoxide in your home at low levels, this causes fatigue in humans as well as chest pain in those who have heart disease. At higher levels, carbon monoxide causes headaches, impaired coordination and vision, confusion, dizziness, nausea, flu-like symptoms and even death if the concentrations are extremely high. 

When a house is full of mold this definitely destroys air quality and can make people very sick. Mold is tiny organisms that live on animal and plant matter. The purpose of mold is to assist in breaking down dead material and helping to recycle the nutrients in the environment. Mold makes spores, which is how mold reproduces, and the spores are spread by insects and in the water and air. Mold can become a big problem if your roof is leaking or your home has been flooded. Mold is often found in wet places, such as the basement or the bathroom or kitchen. If the home is not properly ventilated or insulated, this can result in mold growth as can humidifiers.

Most people that are exposed to mold develop allergies from breathing mold spores. In a worst-case scenario, mold exposure can cause toxic outcomes and infections in humans. 

Many things contribute to poor indoor air quality or indoor air pollution, such as cleaning products, fireplaces, cigarettes, and stoves. When a home is extremely insulated this traps contaminants inside because the air circulation is reduced as a result of the insulation. When this is the case, this is called “tight building syndrome.”

Do not dismiss the impact that indoor air pollution can have on your health. Your home must be properly ventilated so that air re-circulates. Remove combustible materials from your home. Know that organic vapors, which come from formaldehyde, which is often found in construction materials – paneling, plywood, particle board and fiberboard—are very dangerous to your health. Cigarette smoke is also detrimental to the residents.

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