Air pollution is usually associated with smog, ozone, or haze hanging in the air, mainly during the hot summer days. Yet, the inside of homes can in fact be just as polluted as the outside air. Over the recent years, indoor air pollution has become a serious issue. The number and diversity of indoor allergens and irritants has increased and grown more dangerous as people spend more time indoors. So what are the types of indoor air pollution that you should expect lurking in your home?
Types of Indoor Air Pollution
- Dust – Dust is really a deadly combination and the main source of pollution indoors. It is like a cocktail of all the bad things you don’t want to take in. Over the years, household dust accumulates incredible amounts of allergens and chemicals. Indoor air pollution is mainly caused by household dust that can contain anything from skin cells from family members to fur and skin cells from pets, kitchen grease, carpet fibers, bacteria, dust mites, fungi, and household chemicals. As if that isn’t enough, dust also contains traces of soil, which is tracked into the home or enters in through windows and doors. However, it’s the debris from dust mites that lies behind the many powerful allergic reactions that you may have.
- Pet Dander – Another source of indoor air pollution is pet dander, which has become a common allergen over the recent years. Many people mistakenly believe that pet dander is not an issue as long as they don’t have pets themselves. The fact is that pet owners carry pet dander everywhere they go, shedding it in different places throughout the day. It is just impossible to get away from pet dander. In addition to pet dander and dust, another risk of indoor air pollution comes from volatile chemicals. These volatile chemicals may come from many sources including cleaning products, deodorants, perfumes, hair spray, paint, solvents, etc.
- Fire/Flame Retardants – Fire retardants or flame retardants are chemicals used to inhibit the spread of fire. They are found in thermoplastics, textiles, and coatings. Radon is also a recognized worldwide health risk with most radon-induced lung cancers occurring from low to medium dose exposures in your very own home. Radon is now considered the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking. Within this context, indoor air pollution becomes a serious matter of concern for most homeowners who start considering ways to maintain air quality and keep pollutants away from their family.
While some pollutants are tracked into the home, others arrive via new carpet cleaners, a new furniture piece, or perhaps a new coat of paint. The fact is that indoor air pollution should not be ignored under any circumstances. Although you can’t see the damage right away, indoor air pollution does exist and the long term effects are not to be taken lightly.