Since air circulation is often restricted inside, it is speculated that indoor pollutants are far worse for humans than poor outdoor air quality. In fact, indoor pollutant levels are potentially 100 times more polluted than outdoor levels, and may pose major health risks.
There are both long- and short-term health effects of indoor air pollution. Short-term effects can include eye, nose and throat irritation as well as upper respiratory infections. These infections can range from pneumonia, headaches, nausea to allergic reactions.
Longer term effects of indoor air pollution can include chronic respiratory disease and lung cancer. There is also risk of heart disease, brain, nerve, liver and kidney damage.
Use these techniques to reduce the amount of pollutants in your home:
- Do not allow smoking in your home.
- Install a radon mitigation system to significantly reduce the level of radon gas in your home.
- Do some research on the household products that you currently use to determine if they have any harmful effects or interactions with the environment and/or your health.
- Before using building materials, review the harmful health effects and, if needed, select alternative materials that are friendlier to your body.
- Monitor your home environment to make sure that there is adequate airflow and proper exhaust systems installed.
- Ventilate your house well by opening doors and windows and running fans when you are painting, using staining products or doing other home improvement tasks.
- Have a service technician inspect your appliances annually to ensure these items are working properly.
This is an important consideration both for your home and office environment. If you are an employee in an office environment concerned about the air quality of your space, consider providing a copy of this Risk Insights PDF to management for their consideration.