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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #061 Effects of indoor air pollution - December 1, 2008
December 01, 2008
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Effects of indoor air pollution

We have seen many effects of indoor air pollution that cause problems in our daily lives. Watch out for exposure to indoor air pollution especially if the pollution is in your house or place of work.

We will be looking at some of the reasons that this type of pollution occurs, how to keep it from happening, and some of the health problems that can result due to this pollution.

Causes for Indoor Air Pollution

Gases and other things released from sources into the air in the house may cause indoor pollution. Oftentimes, bad ventilation can lead to more problems because not enough air from outside enters the house to lessen the effect of the sources of indoor pollution. You need adequate air coming in to carry bad air out of the house.

If you burn wood, coal or oil to heat your house, you can be causing air pollution indoors. Smoking tobacco inside leaves occupants with indoor air contamination to deal with.

Older homes may have asbestos insulation that could be decaying and giving off particles that cause poor air quality. Deteriorating carpet and wooden objects also release toxins into the air.

Here's another one to watch out for. Radon. Radon gas is a known carcinogen naturally found in the ground. It can seep into basements through direct contact with the earth and get trapped in stagnant air. To help with this situation, you can purchase radon detectors that find this type of problem in your house.

Certain construction materials can give off formaldehyde into the air. Old houses could still have lead paint, which can turn to dust as it ages and you could breath in the dust.

Mold and mildew cause major problems as house indoor air quality. This often happens when houses get flooded following hurricanes, tornadoes, or other events leading to floods. Different types of mold have varying respiratory effects and black mold is reported to be the worst.

What to do about indoor air pollution.

Improved ventilation in the house can solve most forms of indoor air pollution. The right upgrade to the foundation of the house should correct the problem of radon getting into the houses.

If you have asbestos insulation you can have it removed and replaced with safer asbestos-free insulation. Lead paint can be removed and replaced with lead free paint.

In the case of mold in the house, you may have to take more drastic actions. Sometimes, especially with black mold, the entire house or structure may have to be torn down and rebuilt.

Doing these things can help you avoid these health concerns. Some ways that the effects of indoor air pollution can alter your health are:

  • Your nose, eyes and throat can feel irritated,
  • Headaches,
  • A feeling of fatigue,
  • Dizzy feeling

These are usually easy to treat and last only a short while. In these cases, simply removing the source of the problem cures your symptoms.

Chronic health problems can become more severe and require serious medical treatment. The list includes:

  • Asthma,
  • Hypersensitivity pneumontis,
  • Bronchitis,
  • Cancer (lung and other kinds),
  • Various other respiratory problems or disease and eventually,
  • heart problems

You need to avoid the effects of indoor air pollution and take proper steps to make sure the air you breathe is safe.

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