Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Homeowners & Indoor Air Quality – What Are the Threats?
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With homeowners spending over 90% of their time indoors, indoor air quality becomes of the utmost importance because homes are now more secure and sealed than ever. Many air pollutants live in our homes and unfortunately, we cannot smell or detect certain pollutants that come from household causes and can be detrimental to our health. Some of these include mold, asbestos, formaldehyde, dust, radon, viruses and bacteria. Let’s take a look at how some of these can affect you or your family’s health.
September 26th is national Mesothelioma Awareness Day around the country and organizations are stepping up to help educate the public on issues around this day. Mesothelioma is cancer that is caused directly by breathing in or inhaling dangerous asbestos fibers. The most common form originates in the lining of the lungs, which is called pleural mesothelioma.
Asbestos, which was commonly used in building materials up until the early 1980’s, is commonly found in insulation, attics, basements, siding, and a variety of other home-based products. Since asbestos is reportedly estimated to still be in about 50% of homes and buildings in the US, there’s a good chance that traces of the material could be found in your home.
Radon is a gas that is a direct cause of over 20,000 lung cancer cases per year. As mentioned, it is impossible to see or smell radon gas. It is naturally occurring like asbestos, however, it originates in certain soils beneath the home. It’s important to note that everyone will experience some level of radon in their lives, however, it is more dangerous in the home structure. Radon can enter your home through a number of ways including between pipes, flooring, cracks, well water, and fireplaces.
Formaldehyde is an odorless chemical commonly used in pressed-wood products along with glues and certain insulation materials. It is known to cause respiratory, nose and eye irritation if high levels are present in your home. It also poses a high cancer risk at certain levels as well.
It is important to know also that other indoor pollutants can cause illnesses, dizziness, fatigue, asthma and allergy symptoms.
How can one improve indoor air quality and ensure that their family is safe? There are several ways to do so. It is important to first try and identify what kind of pollutants are present in your home.
If you think you have any asbestos in your home, it is best to get it inspected by a licensed professional who can test and see whether asbestos in your home needs to be removed. In addition, there are radon testing kits that can be bought at a relatively inexpensive price to make sure radon levels in your home are consistently at a safe level for your family.
However, little tips such as cleaning your floor, avoiding any smoke in your home, ventilating stale air by opening windows, and monitoring your indoor level of humidity can all lead to a better level of indoor air quality. In addition, air purifiers such as the UV Air Purifier can use UV rays to destroy pollution such as bacteria, viruses, and mold in your home.
Since the average person spends so much time indoors throughout the year, make sure you’re aware of potential dangers and help your family stay safe.
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