How Dirty Is The Air You Breathe?

Do You Know What’s In The Air you Breathe?

We all readily assume the air we breathe is clean and harmless because that is what keeps us alive, right? But have you ever stopped to think about what is in that clear, odorless air you breathe? Do you believe the air you breathe is pure and clean just because you cannot see anything floating in it? If you believe that, I’d advise you to read this article. It will only take you a minute or so.

‘Seeing’ What is in the Air Around You

Now, this is a tricky one to visualize, so maybe it would be helpful to draw you a comparison here. An example of what you eat as a comparison for what you breathe, while not exactly the same is close enough to illustrate the point I’m making. Let me ask, do you boldly eat items of food when you don’t know what’s in them? I doubt it.

Without laboring the point, how would you feel if the food items you buy in supermarkets and stores were not regulated and pre-packaged, but in fact came in plain brown boxes marked “Food”. Without any regulation that told you where they had been or what had been put in them, would you still eat these items if you received them in these circumstances?

It would be like eating food that you found lying around, abandoned. It might look fine, but you would certainly think twice about eating it; unless you were desperate or starving of course. Nevertheless, keep this scenario in mind as you go over to thinking about the air you breathe.

While you can always opt out of eating certain foods, you don’t have quite the same options when it come to breathing–Should you breathe in air if you do not know what is in it? Both food and air are brought into your body and both can create adverse health conditions, but you undoubtedly think about the one a lot more than you do the other. Breathing just occurs naturally without you stopping to think about it. You make this decision just by being where you are. Indoor air quality is a topic of massive importance, but of course many indoor air pollutants are invisible to the naked eye and, as the saying goes, out of sight out of mind.

There are many sources of pollutants within the modern home. It’s a growing problem, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or USEPA) has identified by stating that the air inside buildings and homes can be from 3 to 5 times dirtier than the air outside of them. Throw in the fact that many people are indoors for up to 90% of their lives, you begin to realize just how much exposure to indoor pollutants people really can be subjected to.

Any of the materials used in the construction of your home could be a source of airborne contaminants. You may have building materials such as insulation that contain asbestos (unlikely, but it still happens) or you may have carpeting that holds too much moisture. Your furniture in some cases can even be an unlikely source. The list of potential irritants includes the cleaning products and other chemical compounds that you use in your home. Also, your heating or cooling system can contribute airborne pollutants too, as can your humidifier.

This is just a small sample of potential sources of pollutants inside your home. before you even stop to consider that outdoor pollution can easily find its way inside your home too. When you realize the staggering amount of possible sources of indoor air pollutants, you start to wonder just what it is that you breathe in as you walk around your home or as you sleep at night.

The Dangers From Radon Gas

Air purifier dangers of radon gas image

A concept illustration of the dangers of Radon Gas in our homes.

When it comes to determining the actual quality of the air in your home, the EPA has issued guidelines, with their main recommendation being that you have the radon level in your home checked. At this point you might be wondering what is radon gas? Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally and is odorless, colorless and tasteless. All homes have some level of radon and testing is the only way to determine how much radon is present in your home, or your drinking water.

Do-it-yourself test kits are available at many local hardware stores. Be aware that when radon gas exceeds acceptable levels, the result can be deadly. When inhaled, radon gas can damage the lung cells, thereby leading to an increased risk of lung cancer. Should you need further help or advice on radon gas, the EPS https://www.epa.gov/radon can point you in the right direction.

OK, radon is covered but what about all the other substances that can be in the air that are equally invisible? Should you have professionals test for each of these? Would you know if something was wrong with the air in your home? Is something wrong with it now? These are valid questions to ask yourself, but for determining the presence of other pollutants in your home, it may actually be best to consider monitoring the situation until some sort of physical symptoms show themselves.

Other Airborne Pollutants

Realistically, you probably want to have a reason to check for other airborne pollutants and irritants because the testing for these can be both laborious and expensive.

By now I hope you’re accepting there are contaminants in the air we breathe, which leads naturally on to the question, “How much of each pollutant is in the air you breathe and is that amount enough to cause damage either now or over time?

You will want to know how often these sources release pollutants into the air. While some sources continuously release their contaminants, other sources only do so at certain times.

An often overlooked source of indoor air contaminants can be your air fresheners and bug sprays. The chemicals contained in some of these may not be the best for your respiratory health even if they come wrapped in delightful floral smells.

While smoking is an obvious major source of indoor pollutants, others can include poorly maintained stoves and furnaces. Further more items that can contribute to the contamination of the air inside your home, are: cleaning products, painting and redecorating products, and pesticides Some pollutants that are released, disperse quickly and are rendered harmless soon after the event that released them, while others can hang around for much longer after you have put the pollutants’ dispensers or canisters away.

The level of pollutants in the air inside your home can be influenced by the amount of ventilation in your home. When you have adequate ventilation, some or all of the pollutants in the air will naturally be dispersed due to the mixing of inside and outside air.

On the other hand, if your house is air-tight, it stands to reason that you’ll receive higher levels of whatever pollutants are floating around in the air. Higher levels of pollutant means a greater potential for unpleasant or harmful symptoms. The problem doesn’t go away easily because many homes are designed to minimize the amount of air that is allowed to leave or enter your home.

It makes sense that for heating or cooling systems to be effective you want as little outside air as possible to be coming in so that it will be easier to maintain the desired temperature inside your home. This means that the concentration of pollutants in the air can change drastically during the seasons where you lock your home up tight or where you open the windows to let fresh air in on a daily basis.

We’ve already touched on a simple solution, which is adequate ventilation. Opening windows when the weather is clement will provide improved ventilation. If you cannot or don’t want to do that, using an air purifier will provide a viable alternative solution.

The Benefits of Using an Air Purifier In A Baby’s Nursery

How To Ensure The Air Your Baby Breathes is Clean

Have you recently become a new parent? Or are you about to become one? Whichever the case, when that moment comes your life will change forever. Like all new parents, you’ll want to wrap your new baby in a safe and secure cocoon, no matter the cost. You will do anything to ensure the health and safety of your new baby. Of all the precautions you could take, do you know how beneficial an air purifier can be for you and your baby?

Did you know children breathe in 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults do, which is why minimizing the amount of chemicals and toxins in the air you and your baby breathes are so important.

The purpose of an air filter is to clean and keep clean the air inside your home. This is most often done with filters and collection grids. These filters and collection grids trap bacteria and air particles, preventing them from circulating around inside your home. Of course, clean air is important for all, but it is especially important for new  born babies with their tender, fragile lungs.

What problems do air purifiers deal with?

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Ultra Quiet Air Purifier for Baby’s room

Recent studies have shown that the air inside modern, well-insulated, sealed homes regularly contains higher concentrations of hazardous chemicals than the air outdoors. These high amounts of toxic chemicals inside the home come from several sources, such as pet dander, airborne chemicals, cleaning products, smokers in the home, and  off-gassing from furniture and appliances.

If you’re unsure about the quality of air in your home, whether this is due to any of the sources above or a general lack of fresh air throughout the house, do you know the impact this can have on your baby? Poor quality air, resulting from any of these sources can lead to serious health problems if measures are not taken to correct them, and sooner rather than later.

If your baby is especially sensitive or has allergies or asthma, using an air purifier in their vicinity will bring not only sighs of relief but a much happier baby too.

That is why it is important that you do everything in your power to keep the air inside your home, or at least the air inside your child’s room clean and pure. If you are a smoker or a pet owner, the best option will be to quit smoking and/or keep your pets away from the baby, but if that is not an option an air purifier will go a long way towards making sure the air your baby breathes is as clean as possible.

How Do I Choose An Air Purifier?

When considering the purchase of an air purifier you need to be aware that all machines are not the same. There are several different types, including: HEPA purifiers, activated carbon air filters, ionizer purifiers, ultraviolet light  (UV) generators, and ozone generators.

Some of these are much more efficient than others, while certain types of purifier are definitely not safe for a new baby.

Which air purifier should I avoid?

As their name suggests, ozone generators, release ozone into the air, so do your research carefully. Many Ionizer purifiers also emit ozone as a by-product. If you find an air purifier that releases ozone, dismiss it immediately. Ozone is a known respiratory irritant and is bad for the condition known as asthma. Ozone can also cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and throat irritation, especially in the very young.

A safe type of air purifier for babies

By a country mile, the best type of air purifier to clean the air your baby breathes is the type that has a true HEPA filter and activated carbon filter (containing 2lbs or more of charcoal or alumina is recommended). These machines filter and trap chemicals and airborne particles that can be in the air our babies breathe. Since young babies lungs are so vulnerable, it is important to keep the air as clean as possible.

HEPA air purifiers will do this for you. They are designed to operate constantly (24/7), are usually cheap to run and invariably quiet in operation, which means they won’t disturb you or your babies sleep while the air you both breathe will be as clean as you can make it.

How An Air Purifier Benefits Both Pets And Their Owners

Why Should I Even Consider An Air Purifier?

It’s widely known that many pet owners develop allergies to their beloved pets. But, not a lot of people are aware that their pets – especially dogs and cats – can suffer from allergies too, as well as cause them, and rather more often than you might think. As in humans, pet allergies are caused by an immune system that overreacts to an everyday substance, such as: pollen, grasses and trees, fleas, dust mites, and mold spores, or perhaps a certain food.

Not only are allergies are all too common among our pets, they can rarely be cured. Thankfully, they can generally be treated, both with medication and by protecting your pets, as far as possible, from whatever’s making them suffer.

Should I get rid Of my pet?

 

Cute pets image

WHAT? No Way! You cannot get rid of us guys – we’re cute and loving!

If someone in your home is allergic to your family cat or dog, or any other animal for that matter, what do you plan on doing about it? Unfortunately, many people make the decision to get rid of their pets. They see this as a simple solution to the problem. Which of course it is, but is often totally unacceptable to the rest of the family.

Many individuals love their pets way too much to get rid of them. Children in particular invariably bond with and dearly love their pet. If you suggest getting rid of good ol’ Rover or cute little Tiddles, you can expect BIG trouble … loud trouble too.

If this rings any bells in your household, you will definitely not want to get rid of your pet, so will need to look for an alternative solution.

OK! So how do I overcome the problem?

One of the reasons why pet allergies are such as problem is because of the air particles caused by these same pets. These particles often come from pet hair or droppings. To eliminate or reduce this problem, and maybe even your allergy, you will need to have cleaner air. While this may not sound like something that would be easy to do, the reality is that it actually is.

All you really need to do is purchase an air purifier.

Asthma and allergy friendly air purifier image

Solve your problem with a certified asthma and allergy friendly air purifier

While the easy part is making the decision to buy an air purifier, the hard part comes when you need to choose which

air purifier to buy. It has been noted that all air purifiers are effective at eliminating air particles caused by pets, but there is a big difference in how efficient they are in doing this.

That is why it is important that you do bit of research online to find out what the best air purifiers are, and why. It’s worth checking out any air purifiers that specifically mention pets in their sales literature or product descriptions. These types of air purifiers are often better, when it comes to removing harmful pet dander from the air.

… Anything Else?

Although an air purifier will undoubtedly help, there are also other factors you can consider. One of these is to limit  your pets to specific areas in your home. Everywhere that your pet accesses, pollutants and air particles will be left behind.

Unfortunately, the majority of air purifiers are not designed to treat a whole house. Most air purifiers only control the quality of air in one room, or sometimes three rooms at most. Therefore, the less space you allow your pet to roam throughout the house, the less problems you will have in keeping the air in your home clean.

Where else can there be a problem?

In addition to improving your home’s air, you can also improve indoor air elsewhere. For instance, if you operate a business that is centered around pets, you will almost certainly benefit from the use of an air purifier.

This means, therefore, that whether you are a pet sitter, a pet groomer, or a Vet, you should not only be able to keep the air in your home clean, but the air in your office clean as well.

It’s highly probable that others would also benefit from the purchase of an air purifier. Your other employees, as well as your customers should also notice the improved air inside your office or indoor work area.

If what you’ve just read sounds familiar in your home, why not start looking for an air purifier right now. As previously mentioned, you should ideally look for an air purifier that specifically mentions pets. This will be a good place to start when it comes to creating healthy, breathable air for you and your whole family.