Air pollution is a serious, though often unrecognized health problem. Epidemiological studies consistently point to a direct link between urban air pollution – especially particulate pollution created by combustion powered vehicles and power generation plants – and cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Long-term exposure to particulate pollution – tiny particles smaller than 10 microns (a human hair is 70 microns wide) – is known to increase illness and death rates from lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema. Additionally, exposure to other airborne pollutants, including sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone, is associated with development of asthma, bronchitis, and respiratory infections.
Even healthy people’s breathing and wellness can be affected. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, health effects related to exposure to indoor pollutants may not show up until years later. The logical solution to cleaning up indoor air is to remove the source of the pollutants and ensure you have plenty of fresh air circulating through your home. – Peggy Sijswerda
Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to many respiratory problems. Unfortunately, airborne contaminants are rampant and most people are not aware that indoor air quality often is even worse than polluted outdoor air.
Here are some of the things that can cause indoor air to be bad to inhale: asbestos, bacteria and viruses, building and paint products, carbon monoxide, odors from carpeting and flooring, cleaning supplies and household chemicals, dust mites and pet dander, mold and mildew, radon, secondhand smoke, volatile organic compounds and insect debris. Ironically, because air freshener is scented, it actually can be a culprit for respiratory distress—artificial fragrances are a major cause of serious health problems, especially for people with lung diseases such as asthma or COPD.
“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”
– Jacques Yves Costeau