The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 4 million people die from indoor pollution-related illnesses every year. If not controlled, indoor pollution in Milton, FL, can lead to diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, ischemic heart disease and lung cancer as well as medical emergencies like strokes. Here are some of the major causes of indoor air pollution.
1. Carpet Fumes
Some new carpets release chemicals from their vinyl backing and the adhesive that holds it to the floor. The release of these gases, known as off-gassing, can result in headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and asthma. Off-gassing with a noticeable smell primarily occurs in the first few months, but the carpet may continue releasing gases for up to five years.
After carpet installation, a house needs adequate ventilation for the first week. If you are sensitive to these chemicals, a carpet may not be the best choice for a floor covering. You can use tile, vinyl or choose natural fiber carpets or rugs.
The use of composite wood products, such as laminate, also releases formaldehyde through off-gassing. Laminates are common as insulation. When released, formaldehyde can cause eye, skin and nose irritation and can even result in some types of cancer.
2. Paint and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Paint contains VOCs. In high concentrations, a coat of paint can cause respiratory health problems or cause minor signs, such as headaches. When the paint dries, it releases most of the VOCs, but it might still contain some. Look for paint that is low- or no-VOC.
If you are very sensitive to VOCs, you may still feel their effect long after the paint dries. Pollutants such as benzene and methylene chloride may cause cancer.
3. Biological Contaminants
Excessive moisture in the air and on walls can propagate the growth of biological contaminants. These contaminants release spores that can cause respiratory health conditions. To minimize the growth of biological contaminants, you need to lower the humidity levels in your home or office.
A dehumidifier can lower the levels of humidity in your indoor air. Talk to our IAQ technicians today if you suspect rising levels of humidity in your Milton, FL, home.
4. Cigarette Smoke
Cigarette smoke contains hundreds of toxic substances. If you, a family member smoke cigarettes indoors, the smoke pollutes the air. You can use air purifiers to remove this smoke from the indoor air, but the best way to combat this menace is to smoke outdoors and ask others to do so.
5. Kitchen Fumes
Around the world, about 2.6 billion people cook using open fires or stoves that run on kerosene, coal or biomass, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, the use of biomass is common. Even without fumes from these sources of fuel, kitchens still produce a lot of water vapor and smoke, enough to cause poor indoor air quality.
To curb pollution from the kitchen, homeowners need to ensure that the kitchen and the entire house have good ventilation. Dehumidifying a kitchen will limit the growth of biological contaminants and damage on a home’s components that are prone to rusting and water damage.
6. Other Particulates
Minute particles of dust, pollen, smoke, pet dander and other pollutants mix with your indoor air and cause breathing difficulties. Pets can track these particulates in on their fur and deposit them on furniture, clothes or other articles in a home. People can also bring in these contaminants on their shoes or clothes.
According to Cancer.org, some airborne particulates are Group 1 Carcinogens. Prolonged exposure to these particulates can also lead to heart disease and DNA mutations.
To improve your indoor air quality, you need to improve ventilation in your home, keep humidity levels stable, keep your house clean and free of dust and use an air purifier. An IAQ professional can help you with that.
Failure to manage indoor air pollution can lead to short-term or long-term illnesses, cause clogging of the HVAC system and increase your utility bills. Call our professionals at Lunsford Air Conditioning & Heating today for indoor air quality and HVAC services for your home or business in Milton, FL.
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