Is Your Home Air Clean Enough?
During the cold months up north it might be an advantage to stay locked up and cozy at home as this will limit your contact with contagions. However South Florida seldomly sees extended periods of cold weather, making it especially important to be aware of the symptoms that poor indoor air quality can produce. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Asthma flare-ups
- Constant fatigue
The Main Culprits of Indoor Pollution
Unlike the smog and fog you typically see outside, indoor air pollution consists more of biological matter, chemical compounds, and suspended particulate matter. Biological matter or biomass typically comes from pet dander from resident furries or tracked in through our clothes and shoes. Skin mites, dandruff, plant remains, wood dust, and mold spores also contribute to the biomass in the air. We add respiratory aerosols to this disgusting mix every time we cough or sneeze inappropriately. Chemical compounds also tend to accumulate in our homes. These include nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from the outside air and toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from all the plastics, disinfectants, paints, carpets, pesticides, and preservatives in our homes. Our homes can even have formaldehyde from these chemical pollutants, which has been shown to be carcinogenic. Even worse, the dust in the air is especially insidious because it can also contain toxic heavy metals such as asbestos, lead, and radon. Older homes might have lead paint, asbestos roofing, lead piping, and radon seeping in through the basement. For those who burn coal, charcoal, dung, or smoke indoor, the problem becomes much worse.