Did you know that the air in your home could be more toxic than the air outside your home? While most people are worried about the pollution spewing from the smoke stacks of power plants, they don’t even consider the harmful pollutants they could be breathing in the comfort of their own home. Environmental agencies have found many sources of indoor air pollutants that will literally shock you. Of course, there are the most common sources, like smoking and carbon monoxide, but there are some sources of indoor air pollutants that you can’t even imagine. Here are 5 surprising sources of indoor air pollution.
- Paint and varnish. Lead paint has been banned for a few decades now, but surprisingly many homes still have it in their walls – perhaps only a few layers beneath the current one. Lead paint can cause brain damage and other harmful health affects. Children are more susceptible because they often touch the walls and then their mouths. Yet, it doesn’t stop with lead paint. Many new paints have harmful chemicals too that are toxic when breathed in – even after they are dry. So, make sure to buy paint that is free of toxic chemicals and spend a few days out of a room before it dries.
- Air purifiers. Many brands market air purifiers as the answer to ventilating and cleaning your air of all pollutants, but this might be false advertising. While not all air purifiers are to blame, some have a unique feature that emits ozone, which is used to kills mold and other invasive fungi and bacteria, but this ozone is highly dangerous to humans and can cause lung disease and worsening asthma symptoms. Health specialists say that people should stand on commonground to ban these products.
- Cabinets and woodwork. Little do you know, but your cabinets could be slowly killing you. Not only that, but your crown molding too. Many of these parts of the home are held together with strong adhesive, but over time these adhesives can emit a gas – the process is called “off-gassing” – that is extremely toxic. The main component of these gasses is pure formaldehyde. Not only that, but other harmful, toxic fumes can emit from “off-gassing” that can be harmful, especially if breathed in for a long time.
- Your stove. If you have a gas stove and do a lot of cooking, it is important to not only turn on the ventilator, but also to open up a window or two, because each time you cook, you are effectively emitting unsafe levels of nitrogen dioxide. Not only that, but if you steam a lot of vegetables, you could be causing mold to grow. So, make sure you keep a good cross breeze in your kitchen when you cook – and after.
- Carpets. Carpets can be a host to a number of indoor air pollutants, like mites, dander, mildew and mold. Every time you take a step you are pushing these pollutants back into the air of your home. This can cause breathing difficulties and asthma attacks. It’s recommended that you vacuum your carpet daily, especially if it gets high levels of traffic.