Air pollution has been a major environmental problem since the industrial revolution and urbanization of America. While much focus has been placed on air pollution in recent decades, awareness about the level of air pollution within our own homes and workplaces is increasing.
One of the most common health effects of indoor air pollution is the aggravation of upper respiratory allergies. Since we spend so much of our time indoors, the importance of living with clean air cannot be overstated. During allergy season especially, when many people take refuge from pollen inside, they may not find much comfort, depending on the level of indoor air pollen that already exist. Taking proper measures to ensure clean household air may contribute in reducing symptoms experienced by seasonal allergies.
Asthma, a prevalent inflammatory disease, affects 23 million people annually in the United States, 7 million of which are children. Although long misunderstood, recent discoveries in the latter half of the last century have led to the development of effective medical treatments, not to mention the identification of effective management methods. According to the National Institute of Health, “Education programs… encourage patients to take an active role in managing their asthma by helping them control asthma and prevent symptoms day-to-day by taking medication and avoiding conditions and environmental factors, such as allergens and irritants, that make their asthma worse…”1
Those suffering from asthma, especially children, may experience intensified symptoms if their indoor air contains a high concentration of allergens. Dust, pet dander, pollen, smoke, and mold spores floating in the air can greatly aggravate asthmatic conditions. Purifying your air is an easy and affordable way to increase comfort and reduce irritation for those living with asthma. While properly addressing asthma with the help of a doctor is essential, taking preventative steps like purifying indoor air is a good companion to medical treatment.
One easy way to purify your home’s air is by using HEPA filters and air purifiers. HEPA filters, whether a part of your HVAC or in a portable unit, will catch allergens and irritants such as pollen, mold spores, and dust. Air purifiers go one step further by also trapping VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), gases, and other toxins. Effective air purifiers often use a charcoal/carbon filter to capture very small particles that easily pass through a HEPA filter.
Other helpful methods of air purification involves the prevention of harmful allergens and irritants from entering your home in the first place. Check your home for leaks that may promote mold growth. Remove any existing mold to reduce the presence of mold spores in the air. Use products such as household cleaners, beauty products, and art/craft supplies that are low in VOCs. Change bedding regularly, and vacuum carpet and upholstery often to remove allergens and dust that have settled in the fibers. Keep your home free of surface dust by regularly cleaning. Avoid opening windows too often as outdoor air will bring in new allergens into your indoor environment.
Author’s short bio:
Wendy Michaelis founder of fixAIRx (www.iaqrx.com) is an indoor air quality testing company in Dallas, TX. With 5 years in business diagnosing and correcting Poor Air Quality conditions. We offer a wide range of customized environmental & mold testing services and at the same time we help find the best solution that fits your family’s unique needs and budget.