Many people spend at least 90% of their time indoors, which means that indoor air has the ability to impact overall health. Although you may often think of the dangerous of outdoor air, indoor air may be even more hazardous to your health than outdoor air.
When a home is unable to “breathe,” ridding itself of pollutants, poor indoor air quality may result in what is known as sick home syndrome. Without proper ventilation, pollutants build up, and this buildup of pollutants may result in health problems. The elderly, individuals with chronic illnesses, and young children all have a higher risk for these health issues related to sick home syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of Sick Home Syndrome?
Some of the common symptoms of sick home syndrome include itchy eyes, coughing, runny nose, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and an irritated throat. Some people also experience difficulty concentrating and dizziness. If these symptoms start when you’re in your home and clear up when you’re not at home, there’s a good chance that sick home syndrome is the problem. Other symptoms that may be related to this syndrome include tightness in the chest, chills, fever, and muscle aches. Unfortunately, since many of these symptoms are very similar to those of the flu or a cold, they are often ignored.
Common Indoor Pollutants and Their Side Effects
Here’s a look at some of the common sources of indoor pollution, as well as their side effects.
- Allergens – Allergens often come from pet hair, household chemicals, personal care products, polluted air, dust mites, and feather dander. They have the potential to cause skin reactions and respiratory problems.
- Airborne Particles – These pollutants come from air ducts and carpets and may cause allergies or respiratory problems.
- Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde may come from permanent press fabrics, wax paper, carpet deodorizers, adhesive floor binders, new furniture, cabinets, plastic grocery bags, plywood, foam insulation, carpet backing, and more. Exposure to this pollutant may cause headaches, irritation to the throat, nose, or eyes, and dermatitis.
- Mildew and Mold – Mildew and mold may be present in heat ducts, humidifiers, air conditioning systems, and cabinets, resulting in skin infections, eye, throat, and nose irritation, lung irritation, and respiratory problems.
Other common pollutants that may be in your home include:
- Nitrogen dioxide
- Petroleum based plastics, flame retardants, and chemicals
- Carbon monoxide
- Radon Gas
- Tobacco smoke
What Can Be Done to Reduce Indoor Pollution?
The most effective way to reduce indoor pollution and prevent or eliminate problems with sick house syndrome is to eliminate indoor sources of pollution. This may include repairing faulty furnaces, removing carpets, and switching to household cleaning supplies and personal care products that don’t contain dangerous chemicals.
Adding plants to the home, such as Cracaenas, Golden Pothos, and Peace Lilies, can help reduce toxins in the air. UV waves and negative ionization from the sunlight can help clear the air in a home as well, so it’s important to let plenty of sunshine into a home.
Another great way to keep pollutants out of your home is to keep it well-ventilated and reducing the amount of moisture in the home can help reduce the levels of some indoor pollutants, as mold and mites thrive in a humid environment. Request a consultation with Wave Home Solutions today to learn how to make your home a healthy environment.