There is no more “strolling through the park one day, in the merry month of May.” Strolling through the park is no longer safe or fun, and with air pollution thick in the air, this leisurely activity is also unhealthy. Air pollution, which is increasingly becoming a problem, is not just a danger in big cities, nor is it limited to the wide open outdoors. Contrarily, one of the biggest dangers with air pollution, one that most people overlook, is indoor air pollution.
Indoor air pollution comes in many different forms and has a negative effect on general health and can even cause or worsen some health problems. Indoor air pollution is not sensitive to region; it can occur anywhere and is more common than most people realize. Indoor air pollution is caused when too little outdoor air is allowed to circulate inside. Many houses, offices, and other buildings today are constructed with tight insulation in order to conserve energy, and though this may be easier on the pocketbook, it is actually harmful to health. Too little outdoor air circulation results in the accumulation of indoor air pollutants, and breathing these pollutants can be very harmful.
Like many other health risks, indoor air pollution creeps in subtly and can be difficult to spot at first, especially since most sources of indoor air pollution are so common. For example, indoor air pollution can be dust mites in pillows, mattresses, or stuffed animals. Mold growing in the shower or damp, dark basements is another form of harmful contaminates. Tobacco smoke, which is one of the most harmful forms, lingers in the air, in carpets, and on furniture. Another incriminating source comes from what is sometimes a dear friend or companion; pets not only carry dirt and debris inside, but they also deposit pet dander and hair in carpets and on furniture, having the same effect as dust, pollen, and other airborne allergens.
Indoor air pollution is not limited to what can be seen, however. Some of the most dangerous forms of indoor air pollution are invisible gases like carbon monoxide, radon, and nitrogen dioxide. Radon, which seeps into the house through cracks or holes open to the ground, is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Gas appliances, if leaking, can sometimes give off nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, which is not only an irritant but can also be fatal.
The effects of indoor air pollution can sometimes be drastic, and children, elderly people, and those with other health problems are even more susceptible to its dreadful harm. Breathing dust, pet dander, mold, and other particulates triggers asthma and allergies, which can be dangerous, especially for those with serious breathing problems. Exposure to indoor air pollution also leads to heart problems, respiratory disease, and even lung cancer. Tobacco smoke is the leading cause of lung cancer, and secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of lung cancer, which makes tobacco smoke not just a problem for smokers but also a health risk for those around smoke.
Indoor air pollution may seem like a difficult challenge to tackle, but it is easily solved with a combination of regular cleaning, ventilation techniques, and air purification. Together, these can rid the air of indoor air pollution, making your home a healthier, more enjoyable place to live and breathe. However, it is very important to always be aware of the possible dangers of indoor air pollution, the quality of the air in your home, and ways to manage better air quality. Strolling through the park may still be questionable exercise, but at least indoor air no longer has to be a worry.