While many people are familiar with dangerous sources of outdoor air pollution, most of us encounter harmful sources of indoor air pollution much more frequently. In fact, the EPA reports that the concentrations of indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor concentrations, making indoor air more harmful than outdoor air. Considering that the average American spends about 90 percent of their time indoors, the topic of indoor air quality is nothing to sneeze at--no pun intended.
Homes can end up with poor indoor air quality due to several unexpected sources that we all willingly bring inside. Does your home contain any of the objects or materials below?
Cleaning and Air Freshening Products
Ironically, many household products made for making your home smell fresher are actually packed full of chemicals that are harmful to breathe. Spray-can air fresheners tend to be one of the biggest culprits in this category. However, several varieties of corrosive chemical cleaners can also fill your air with irritating and unhealthy pollutants.
Furniture Made of Pressed or Engineered Wood
Pressed or engineered wood is formed by essentially bonding a bunch of particles together to form “solid” boards. The bonding agents often contain harmful indoor air pollutants known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde. VOCs are harmful chemical pollutants that evaporate into the air at room temperature.
Irritation of the ear, nose, and throat can happen immediately after exposure to VOCs. According to the EPA, cancer, heart disease, and certain respiratory illnesses are some long-term health effects of repeated exposure to VOCs.
Standard Indoor Paint
Do you ever wonder why a freshly-painted room often gives people headaches? While part of this may be due to fragrance sensitivity, many standard indoor paints also contain VOCs. Even after the paint dries, it will “off-gas” these chemical pollutants for months afterward. When looking for paint options for your home, avoid the off-gassing issue by choosing paints that are low-VOC or VOC-free.
If you need your indoor air quality checked or improved in Dallas, TX, don’t hesitate to call Rescue Air Heating and Cooling at (972) 201-3253.