Think of the basic necessities—water, food, and shelter come to mind. But without clean air to breathe, everything else becomes irrelevant.
Think about the number of breaths you take each day, hour, and even minute. The reality is that more and more of those breaths are happening indoors. In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people spend up to 90% or more of their day indoors, with much of that time taking place at home.
While you may not have control over the air you breathe at work or around town, you can enjoy clean and contaminant-free air at home.
Start by following both the EPA and the American Lung Association’s simple suggestions:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution among the top five environmental dangers to the public and one of the leading health risks today. The EPA estimated that pollution levels indoors could be two to five times higher than the pollution levels outdoors! On occasion, indoor air can be as much as 100 times more polluted.
The quality of indoor air has substantially deteriorated over the last 30 to 40 years, and it has occurred because of how homes are now constructed. Today, new homes are sealed much tighter, and air cannot escape. That way, the air inside your home stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. “Tight homes” are more energy efficient, but they also lock in allergens, toxins, and infectious agents.
Research studies have found that more people today feel less healthy than at any other time. Also, more people suffer from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory diseases than ever before. Why? Because people over the last 30 to 40 years have been breathing an increasing amount of damaging particles while indoors. These dangerous particles have been blamed for the irritations you may get in your eyes, nose, and throat. They produce headaches, fatigue, and, occasionally, nausea. In extreme cases, due to long-term exposure, they’ve been suspected of causing damage to your liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.
Here are three common areas of concern and some questions to determine if you’re at risk: