Air quality is an invisible, yet hugely significant, determinant of our day-to-day health. The health risks of air pollution are already well known – in fact, rarely does a day go by when we don’t hear about the dangers it presents – but did you know that the air inside your home can actually be more polluted than the outdoor air?
Poor indoor air quality can present both short and long-term health risks, so whether you suffer from allergies or not, understanding these risks is crucial to your overall well-being. That’s why we’ve put together a handy guide to the main dangers you should be aware of, along with some tips for staying safe.
1. allergens in the air: not just a sneezing matter
The dangers: For people who have allergies, poor air quality presents an immediate health hazard, with pollen, pet dander and dust mites being just a few common culprits. These allergens can induce allergic reactions, leading to symptoms like sneezing, itching, watery eyes and even asthma attacks1.
The solutions: For those struggling with airborne allergies, a wearable air purifier with a HEPA filter, like our very own Wear A+, can be a lifesaver. In addition to keeping allergens at bay, which can especially provide relief from hay fever during pollen season, it provides a “personal clean air zone” that is free of contaminants.
2. poor ventilation and high co2 levels: the silent productivity killer
The dangers: Rooms with poor ventilation are often subject to a significant build-up of carbon dioxide (CO2). Elevated CO2 levels can lead to drowsiness, headaches and reduced cognitive abilities2. The simple act of opening a window can help, for sure; but during pollen season this creates a dilemma for those suffering from hay fever.
The solutions: Equip spaces with CO2 monitors to keep track of air quality. Combine intermittent window ventilation with HEPA air purifiers to both refresh indoor air and remove allergens, ensuring a balance that promotes well-being without aggravating hay fever.
3. humidity and black mold: a lethal combination
The dangers: Excessive humidity can often pave the way for black mold to thrive. Black mold releases spores and mycotoxins which, when inhaled, can cause a range of health issues including respiratory problems, allergic reactions and in severe cases, internal organ damage3.
The solutions: Using dehumidifiers in particularly damp areas of your home can help keep mold growth to a minimum. Be sure that your indoor spaces are properly ventilated too, especially bathrooms and basement areas.
4. fireplaces and gas stoves: secret emitters of carbon monoxide
The dangers: Homes equipped with a fireplace or gas stove are at risk of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal in high concentrations. Meanwhile, low-to-moderate exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and confusion4 and a build-up of CO in the blood through long-term exposure can result in flu-like symptoms.
The solutions: Ensuring regular maintenance of CO-emitting appliances and installing CO detectors in your home can prove to be a life-saving decision.
5. household chemicals: the invisible threats lurking in plain sight
The dangers: Many household cleaning agents and air fresheners – and even certain types of furniture – can release harmful chemicals including formaldehyde. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can lead to respiratory issues and eye irritation, and it has also been linked to certain types of cancer5.
The solutions: Wherever possible, opt for natural alternatives when selecting your cleaning products, and ensure your indoor spaces are adequately ventilated whenever using synthetic chemicals. Using an air purifier can also help reduce the concentration of these harmful substances in your home.
6. the dust dilemma: it’s not just about keeping your surfaces spotless
The dangers: While dust might seem largely harmless, it’s actually a cocktail of dead skin cells, microfibers, pollutants and microscopic organisms including mites. Inhaling dust can irritate the respiratory system and aggravate asthma and allergies6, especially for those who are allergic to dust mites.
The solutions: Regular cleaning, using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and avoiding the use of carpets and rugs can all help minimize the presence of dust in your home. Once again, a personal wearable air purifier like Respiray Wear A+ can also prove beneficial in dustier environments.
your health is airy important, so stay safe!
Poor indoor air quality is a health concern that is often overlooked, yet its impact can be profound. From instant allergic reactions to long-term health complaints, the risks are real – and their implications can be severe. While indoor air pollutants can arise from a variety of sources, solutions like ensuring regular ventilation, using a dehumidifier, choosing natural cleaning products and taking advantage of air purifiers, especially wearable purifiers with HEPA filters, can make a significant difference.
Being aware of the dangers is the first step, but this alone is not enough; taking action to avoid them is the real key to embarking on a healthier life.