Indoor air quality is important to our sense of health and well-being.
It is not something that we can always see or sense, but it’s something that needs to be taken into account for our health, and for our families. Here are some reasons why indoor air quality really matters.
One study was conducted mimicking the carbon dioxide concentrations found in classrooms and offices. The results showed the persons who were in the room for an extended period of time produced lower test scores than in environments that were fully ventilated. The people that were part of the test were not aware of the change in environment so no placebo effect would have taken place. Air quality can impact our ability to solve problems and get work done effectively. The two places where indoor air quality matters the most (home and work), are also the two places where we do the most thinking. Therefore, air quality inside should be imperative so we can function optimally.
Common sense would tell us that breathing in dirt particles, chemical particulates, and mold spores would not be good for our lungs. In fact, over a long period of time, this can cause detrimental and permanent problems with our lungs. Those who have allergies to mold may experience allergy induced asthma, which is a very serious condition to some populations. Making sure that our air filters are clean, and our homes are free of mold are essential to keeping our lungs healthy. We need to be filtering air by replacing our air filters on air conditioning units, or keeping our windows open regularly.
Some chemicals that find themselves in our air can proliferate the growth of cancerous tissues in our body. Chemicals such as radon, which are not detectable by human senses work over an extended period of time to cause damage to our cells. Radon is generally used in refrigerators but can be present in the soil and water around our home. You can either pick up a test kit yourself or call a professional to test your home for radon.
While not common in the developed world, asbestos insulation can also cause cancer development. Some older buildings still contain asbestos, and if you find asbestos in your home call a professional immediately. Asbestos breaks into small fibers which can cut and permanently damage lung tissue.
Secondhand Smoke Effects
Roughly 10% of the North American population still consume tobacco regularly. Some people in this demographic may choose to smoke in their homes, however, second-hand smoke does have an impact on air quality. Blowing smoke out through a window won’t reduce the carcinogenic toxins that make their way into the air. If you have children at home, you should be making sure you are smoking inside, as they can develop asthmatic conditions from being exposed to too much tobacco smoke. No air filter in the world can combat smoking indoors.
Since indoor air quality can alter how much oxygen our lungs are able to take in, this can affect how well our heart functions. Our body’s organs work synergistically to provide function, and when one organ faces a difficulty so does the other. Not having an adequate oxygen supply can force the heart to pump faster, and raise levels of blood pressure. Over long periods of time, this can cause cardiovascular damage such as arteriosclerosis, or a hardening of blood vessel muscle fibers.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the conditions with which they live, and indoor air quality is no exception. Poor air quality can significantly impact a child’s development and can lead to respiratory illnesses later in life. Conditions like asthma are more prolific in children who grow up in an environment with poor air quality. Asthma is on a spectrum of severity, but it can be an exceptionally serious condition that one has to adjust their lives around. Air quality should always be kept optimal if there are children in the home.
Indoor air quality can lead to a depreciated level of cognitive functioning and you should always try to make sure carbon dioxide levels stay within an acceptable threshold. Closing windows and doors can raise carbon dioxide levels considerably in under an hour. If you’re considering any toxins within your home, always contact a professional to address the situation. The added expense is worth not having to worry about developing health conditions further down the road. Smoking should always be done outside of the home to keep the air clean.
If you’re looking to stay healthy, indoor air quality really matters.