Indoor air pollution varies from house to house and even from room to room. Sometimes the inside air pollution is caused due to the seeping in of the air from outside. Also, it can build up from indoor sources like construction material, consumer products, molds, insects, and pets.
Poor ventilation at home can cause this pollution to accumulate to dangerous levels. A home is a place that involves bulk breathing and pollution in the air calls for the need for air quality testing.
Why Get An Indoor Home Air Quality Test?
There are a few very common indoor air pollutants that can make the air inside the house harmful to breathe in.
Combustion releases gas and particles that are the major sources of indoor pollution worldwide. (1)
The pollutants released by combustion are carbon monoxide (CO), nitric dioxide (NO2), and particulate matter.
Carbon monoxide can lead to a wide variety of symptoms such as headache, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness. Nitric dioxide irritates the mucous membrane and causes shortness of breath. Its long term exposure can raise the risk of lung infection or emphysema.
These airborne particles can lodge in the lungs damaging the tissue and work their way to the bloodstream.
Radon is an odorless gas that is a major cause of lung cancer (2). Uranium present in soil emits radon that dissipates easily into the outdoor air and can seep into the buildings through the gaps in them.
3. Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
There are volatile organic compounds present in numerous consumer products such as paints, glue, printers, and shower curtains. These VOCs can let off vapors even at room temperature that can cause short-term health issues such as headaches and nausea.
The levels of VOC are two to five times higher indoors than outdoor and are prone to dramatic swings.(3)
4. Mold and mildew
Fungi are the notorious air polluters that colonize and contaminate in humid conditions. Their outbreak can begin in basements and bathrooms and are quick to spread with enough moisture.
Health effects caused by them are nasal stuffiness, wheezing, and skin irritation. Studies linked indoor molds with asthma development in children. (4)
5. Dust dander and droppings
Most buildings are plagued by dust mites and cockroaches that leave trails of allergenic feces and body parts.
Fumes from the rodent urine and dropping and airborne proteins from the cat’s saliva can cause breathing problems.
The allergic reaction and asthma caused by these contaminants on chronic exposure can worsen. Those already with breathing troubles are more at risk of it.
Already rodents, insect and other pests are of enough problems, eradicating them with poison can add to the risk.
Pesticides are toxic as they contain organic compounds that can add to the existing air pollution inside the house. Exposure to these pesticides can lead to symptoms such as nausea and headache and can cause long term brain damage and increase the risk of cancer (5).
How To Test The Air Quality At Home?
If you find an increase in allergy symptoms there is a need to test the air quality at home.
There are a few ways in which the air quality at home can be tested.
- Indoor Air Quality Monitor: It is a device to monitor the quality of indoor air. It is the easiest option available in the market to keep a check in the indoor air quality.
- Test For Mold In The Air: A standard home mold test can be done using a petri dish that is allowed to stay in the home with some substance along.
- Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Installing a carbon monoxide alarm is a cheap and effective way of monitoring the carbon monoxide in indoor air. They are easy to install and can be kept within 10-15 feet of the sleeping area.
- Radon Test: Short term radon kits can be kept at home to check for the presence of radon in the house. They can calculate the amount of radon in the house.
Home is your safe heaven. Make it a place where you can enjoy with your family and stay happy and healthy.