The worst source of air pollution is one you encounter every day. You may be exposed to some of the most deadly contaminants, including carbon monoxide and radon. It is worse in the winter because you are exposed for greater periods of time. Welcome home.
Why You Should Care
Your home air quality increases your risk of pollution-related health issues. You spend the most amount of time there. Consider the consequences of poor air quality. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly three percent of all diseases are caused by indoor air pollution. Over 10 percent of lung cancer cases are not caused by smoking, but rather by indoor air pollutants such as radon.
Whatever your feelings about smoking bans, your home should be a smoke-free zone, especially during the winter. The reason is that the concentration of pollutants rises because of the lack of ventilation. Think about what you are adding to the air you breathe:
If you must smoke indoors, ventilate the one area you set aside for smoking.
Like carbon monoxide, radon represents an especially deadly threat because you cannot detect it by sight, smell or taste. You may not know that your home has a problem. The problem is likely worse in winter because of a couple factors.
Radon can seep into your home from the soil around it. Radon is, after all, a naturally-occurring element. During the winter, snow cover and frozen ground conditions can prevent radon from leaving the soil, and thus, ending up in your home. To determine if it is present in dangerous concentrations, test your home in the winter when you are more likely to accurately assess a potential problem.
Whenever you use any chemicals in your home, always ventilate the area. It doesn’t matter if it is paint, household cleaners or glue. You should also opt for non-aerosol products when possible. When you are finished using any chemical, make sure it is properly sealed.
Simple steps can improve your home’s air quality. The consequence of indoor air pollution can be prevented. Do it for yourself, your family members and your pets.