The Threat of Poor Indoor Air Quality on Your Health

Outdoor air pollution is a well-known risk because it can affect all of us. Equally as dangerous, however, is the lesser known risk of indoor air pollution that can exist in your own home. Failing to address this issue can create health issues, many of which can be treated or avoided by using an air purifier. Here are a few of the health risks associated with poor indoor air quality and their signs and symptoms:

  • Allergies: Most people are aware of the effect that outdoor air quality can have on allergies, especially pollen. Less people know that there are plenty of risk factors inside your home to trigger allergic reactions, such as pet dander, dust and mold spores. These indoor "allergens" can affect people differently. Someone who is allergic to pet dander, for example, will most likely sneeze, cough or itch when exposed to cat or dog hair. More serious reactions, such as shortness in breath, chest pain or fatigue, can stem from allergic asthma, the most common form of asthma. Another symptom of airborne allergens in your home is conjunctivitis, more commonly referred to as "pink eye." This comes in two forms: seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) and perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC). SAC is generally short-term and usually stems from outdoor allergens. PAC, however, can often be triggered from indoor allergens and can persist throughout the entire year. These indoor allergens are some of the most common harmful airborne elements and virtually all air purifiers are designed to get rid of them.

  • Asthma and Other Respiratory Problems: As mentioned above, asthma can be triggered from allergens. In fact, 80% of people who have asthma also have allergies, both of which are considered to be respiratory problems. Other problems such as acute bronchitis and pneumonia can affect your upper or lower respiratory system and poor air quality could be the reason for them. Symptoms such as facial pain, a runny nose, sore throat or fever are often signs that your upper respiratory system is affected. Problems with your lower respiratory system are generally more severe, such as difficulty in breathing or chest pain. Either way, the airborne elements that can affect these conditions are often the same ones that can trigger allergies: pet dander, dust or mold. In addition to those elements, chemical byproducts from household cleaners or personal care products can cause respiratory problems, even if used in well-ventilated areas. If you have a fever or other condition and are recovering in a space with poor indoor air quality, your condition can go from bad to worse; using an air purifier can provide you with cleaner air to ease the recovery process.

  • Effects of Tobacco Smoke: These days, there is no mistaking the fact that second-hand smoke can have serious implications such as cancer. Tobacco smoke can also trigger allergies and respiratory problems, as mentioned above. In fact, children can even develop asthma from growing up around second-hand smoke. Other harmful conditions that can result from second-hand smoke include lung cancer, pneumonia, bronchitis, excessive coughing/wheezing, ear infections and reduced lung functioning. The best solution is obviously to not smoke at all. The second best solution, if you or someone you live with smokes, is not to smoke indoors. However, if you decide to smoke in your own home, you should be well aware of these implications, especially in small, poorly ventilated areas of your home. Many air purifiers employ activated carbon filters, specifically to absorb harmful odors and gases found in tobacco smoke.

  • Nervous System/Immune System Disorders: As mentioned, byproducts from the use of typical household cleaners or personal care products can lead to respiratory problems. However, more serious chemical pollutants can be released from paint, building materials and insulation, which can cause or worsen nervous system and immune system disorders. Signs to look out for include nose and throat discomfort, allergic skin reactions, nausea and dizziness. One type of nervous system disorder that can come about from poor air quality, particularly with tobacco smoke, is a stroke. Allergies and asthma are types of immune system disorders, but your immune system can be effected in other ways from poor air intake. Performing the proper maintenance on your home should be your first priority. Sometimes, however, this maintenance can lead to the temporary infiltration of pollutants. However severe, airborne contaminants of all types and sizes can be eliminated with the use of an air purifier.

On average, people spend at least half and up to 90% of their time indoors. The types of people who are on the higher end of that statistic are children and the elderly, both of whom can be the most severely affected by health risks like those mentioned above. However, the fact remains that anyone's health can be affected by indoor air quality. Finding a source can often times be difficult so stay on the safe side by using a quality air purifier.




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