Indoor pollution bears much more weight to us as we spend our time indoors thinking that we’re safe from a dirty environment. The air inside our homes can be just as polluted as the air outside; in some cases, it can even be worse.
Several things can contribute to indoor air pollution. Some of the most common sources include dust, fumes from cooking or cleaning, cigarette smoke or other tobacco products, pet dander and mould. These pollutants can cause various health problems, including asthma, lung cancer and heart disease.
However, some pollutants are often exclusively present indoors, such as CO2, mould and fungal spores, and radon, and their presence can be used to gauge the health of indoor settings.
This article seeks to answer why indoor or outdoor pollution is a concern and how to improve indoor air quality to keep it intact and clean for your family.
Indoor Air Pollution Causes You May Not Have Thought Of
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 2.6 billion people who use biomass, kerosene fuels and coal for cooking and heating their homes face a significant health risk from indoor smoke from household air pollution.
Here are other sources of air pollution inside your home:
According to some research, cigarette smoke is one of the worst contributors to indoor air pollution, polluting the air ten times more than diesel vehicle emissions.
Whilst cigarette smoke is a widespread indoor pollutant, people don’t realise the dangers of secondhand and thirdhand smoking. The carcinogenic particles from secondhand and thirdhand smoke stick longer to surfaces.
Cooking stove particulate matter (PM) is a typical indoor air contaminant. Solid fuels, including wood, coal and dung, are frequently burnt indoors for cooking and heating in developing nations.
High levels of PM from indoor cooking stoves have been linked to several health issues, including cancer, heart disease, asthma and respiratory infections.
Many cleaning solutions contain chemicals that might contaminate indoor air. When inhaled, the toxic fumes released by these chemical products can be dangerous. Numerous health issues, such as cancer, asthma and respiratory infections, have been associated with some of these substances.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gases that readily dissipate at ambient temperature, are another component of many cleaning products. Headaches, nausea, and liver, kidney and central nervous system damage are just a few of the short and long-term health impacts VOCs can have when they are released into the air.
You can find mould in many locations in the home, including on walls, floors, ceilings and basements. Mould exposure can also worsen symptoms and lead to serious respiratory infections in people with weak immune systems or pre-existing problems like asthma or allergies.
Whilst having pets at home can be fun and exciting for the family, it can also present some problems to your indoor quality due to dander. Most animals with fur shed dander, which is present in their skin, saliva and coat. When pet dander is in the air, it has the potential to be inhaled and result in several respiratory issues.
Where Does Indoor Air Pollution Come From?
Recent research suggests that pollutants, such as PM2.5, can enter homes through shuttered windows and closed doors, and concentrations can rise during wildfire outbreaks. This danger from wildfire is especially applicable here in Australia as we have cases of bushfires during the hot season. Fortunately, modern structures and those with air filtering systems appear to do much better.
According to the WHO, household air pollution can be a significant source of outdoor air pollution in urban and rural settings, making up as much as 50% of it in some regions of the world. The exchange of air pollution also occurs in the reverse direction. This is why many air quality experts need to treat indoor and outdoor quality as separate entities but as a continuum.
Combating Indoor Air Pollution
There are multiple ways to improve indoor air quality and reduce pollutant levels. Purification deals with gas-phase pollutants, such as VOCs, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, whereas filtration targets particulate matter contaminants and removes them from the environment.
Here are other methods to help address indoor air pollution.
- Good Ventilation—Air purifiers or HVAC systems can achieve good ventilation. Lack of ventilation in indoor areas can allow pollutants to build up to harmful levels.
- HEPA Filters—High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can reduce indoor pollution, effectively removing pollutants like mould spores, pet dander, dust mites and tobacco smoke. A HEPA filter removes 99.97% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger from the air that passes through them. This filter can also be used in various ways, including vacuums, air purifiers and heating and air conditioning systems.
- Use Green Products—Numerous traditional cleaning products include dangerous substances contaminating indoor air. Select green cleaning products created with natural chemicals like white vinegar, baking soda, borax, citrus fruit and essential oils to prevent this.
- Keep Indoors Clean and Dry—Reducing indoor air pollution can be achieved by keeping indoor areas dry and clean. This is particularly crucial in places like the kitchen and bathroom, where mould and mildew are prone to grow. Furthermore, it’s essential to address any leaks or water damage immediately to stop mould growth and decay.
- Use an Air Purifier—Air purifiers can protect against indoor air pollution and eliminate dust, pollen, mould spores, and pet dander. They can also remove VOCs, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals. Selecting an air purifier that is the right size and has a high CADR rating is essential.
Why Is a Rensair HEPA Air Purifier the Best Protection from Indoor Air Pollution?
The Rensair air purification system uses a five-stage filtration process combined with patented technologies to effectively remove 99.97% of all airborne particles from your home’s environment, no matter how small.
The five stages include:
- Pre-Filter—The first stage is a pre-filter, which captures larger particles such as dust and pet hair.
- Activated Carbon Filter—This filter absorbs odours, smoke and other harmful pollutants.
- HEPA H13 Filter—This removes the smallest particles from your indoor air, such as bacteria, dust mites and pollen.
- Cold Catalyst Filter—This eliminates formaldehyde and other VOCs.
- Anion Generator—This stage releases negative ions into the air, which can reduce pollutants like mould spores.
Indoor air pollution is a serious issue that we often take for granted. The quality of the air we breathe is essential, and it’s important to take steps to improve indoor air quality. A HEPA air purifier is a great way to enhance your home’s air quality, and numerous studies have demonstrated their efficacy.
If you’re looking for the best air purifier in Australia, check out Rensair HEPA air purifier. This is the best on the market that can help you breathe easy, knowing your family is safe from harmful pollutants.
For more information about this product, contact us today.