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The Hidden Air Pollutants Inside Your Home

Last updated Feb. 22, 2019

Many people still find it hard to believe that the air in their home can be a lot worse than the air outside. This is a reality, however, and it is important that we all get used to the idea.

Unless you take measures to control air pollutants in your indoor space, you and other members of your household will be constantly exposed to air pollutants and their potential risks.

Pollutants are easy to build up indoors. This is especially true for indoor environments with little or no proper ventilation.

Normally, knowing the sources of pollution and trying to manage them is a good way to keep your indoor air clean. While there are common sources of air pollutants that people know and avoid, there are others that people know nothing about.

Second-hand smoke, radon gas, and molds are very common but there are other sources you may not be aware of.

Here, we will discuss some of the possible hidden air pollutants in your home so that you know how best to manage them and maintain the quality of air in your indoor space in great condition.


1. Air Fresheners

To make your indoor space smell nice and sweet, you may be using some artificial air fresheners. While most of these products are often effective in giving your indoor space sweet smell, they may be polluting the air in the process.

Many store-bought air fresheners emit toxic pollutants that can be compared to second-hand smoke in terms of their health risks.

Ethylene-based glycol ethers that are commonly found in air fresheners, for instance, can cause a number of problems including fatigue, nausea, headache anemia, and tremors.

Phthalates, which are also found in air fresheners, are endocrine disruptors that can harm infants and children in different ways.

Instead of using artificial air fresheners, you can keep indoor plants or make your own air fresheners with essential oils.

2. Carpets

New carpets normally look nice in homes but they can also contribute meaningfully to air pollution. New carpets smell and it is not hard to notice this smell.

While the smell may not be seriously offensive, it can be quite dangerous to individuals in the room. The smells that accompany new carpets are usually off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can pose serious health challenges.

Some of the gasses that are released by new carpets include toluene, benzene, ethyl benzene, bromine, formaldehydes, styrene, and acetones.

These chemicals can cause minor issues like headache, allergies, drowsiness, and confusion. They can also cause serious problems like birth defects, and organ diseases.

Dirt and pollutants from outside and animal dander can also settle on the carpet. You can keep new carpets outside to outgas for a while and clean old carpets thoroughly to minimize the level of pollutants they release.


3. Cleaning Products

It can be surprising to find out that the household cleaning product you have been using has contributed to air pollution in your indoor space.

This is a reality that users of conventional household cleaning products face. Some of the products are made with harmful alcohol, chlorine, ammonia, and petroleum-based solvents. These chemicals can become pollutants in the indoor space and cause such problems as headache and allergies.

There are also lots of cleaning products that release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your indoor space and cause you and your other members of your household health challenges and aggravate such issues as asthma and other respiratory issues.

Chlorine bleach is one of the most dangerous of these products. Look at labels carefully before buying any cleaning product.  Home-made cleaning products and better.

4. Dryer Sheets

Sometimes, the warm laundry you pull out from the dryer smell so good and feel so warm that it can make you happy. While the dryer sheets do wonderful jobs by getting your laundry dry, they may also be contributing to indoor air pollution in your home.

They deposit some layer of ammonium salt, silicon oil, or stearic acid on your laundry. Some dryer sheets also contain fragrances that contain toxins that can cause health issues when you inhale them.

5. Furniture

Furniture are important household items but they could be negatively impacting your indoor air quality without your notice.

Some of the common household furniture are treated with chemical fire retardants that are linked to different health and environmental conditions.

This is most common in upholstered chairs and couches, as well as furniture containing polyurethane. You need to be careful when you buy household furniture and you need to take good care of them too.


6. Paint

New paints smell odd and you can always suspect that they have health consequences. It is common to experience headache, nausea, and confusion when you stay in an environment that is newly painted. Most paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that will off-gas for weeks.

Such chemicals in your indoor space can cause several health challenges. Even if you live in a place that has not been painted for a long while, lead paints can be dangerous for decades after being used to paint a home. It is important that you buy paints that are VOC-free.

7. Kitchen Stove

There are some instances where this is obvious and other instances where it is not. If you are using gas stoves, you may not be aware that some harmful gases are being released to the kitchen environment while you are cooking.

There are actually several toxic substances that are released in the cooking while cooking on kitchen stoves and all you can do to minimize the problem is to have your kitchen properly ventilated at all times.

Installing a range hood or a high quality ventilation fan is important to keep your kitchen environment properly ventilated and safer.

Your home is supposed to be your fortress and it cannot perform this function when the air indoor is terrible. Take note of these hidden air pollutants inside the home and take care to minimize their impact in your indoor space.

If you have any further questions, contact us and we would be happy to help you.