Air Clean Up
How Can You Reduce Indoor Air Pollution?
Nov 09 2017 Read 923 Times
A recent study published in The Lancet found that pollution has now become the biggest killer worldwide and is currently responsible for up to nine million premature deaths every year. What’s more, air pollution is by far the biggest contributing factor to this crisis, claiming 6.5 million of those lives.
While air pollution is largely caused by al fresco factors such as the regulation of power plant emissions and passenger car exhaust fumes, it would be a mistake to assume that outdoor air pollution is the leading cause of all of those deaths. In fact, a 2012 found that indoor air pollution can be up to three times more deadly than air quality on the streets.
This is because once a contaminant has found its way inside your home, the insulated nature of the building means it’s very difficult for it to dissipate. With that in mind, here are some top tips on how you can reduce air pollution in your own home and limit your exposure to potentially life-threatening contaminants such as particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and others.
Open a window!
It might sound overly obvious, but proper ventilation of your home is the number one way to reduce contaminants in the air. For best results, try opening windows or doors during or just after rainfall. The precipitation will work to dissipate pollutants in the air and achieve maximum cleansing of the environment.
Get an air purifier
Second to bringing in nature’s help, an air purifier is also a great way to eliminate contaminants from your home. In fact, a purifier can even work better than windows in some circumstances, since they can remove pollutants from places where air flows cannot penetrate, such as cupboards, closets and waste bins.
In order to trap really small particles (of around 0.3 microns in diameter), you’ll want to get hold of a purifier with a HEPA filter. These super sensitive filters can remove 99.97% of airborne contaminants and only require cleaning every three months or so.
Of course, the best way to avoid tobacco-related conditions is to knock smoking on the head altogether, but if you really must indulge in the habit, do it outside. The carcinogens and other pollutants contained in cigarette smoke can cling to curtains, carpets and upholstery, building up in the atmosphere and causing a wide range of respiratory complications and allergic reactions.
Get an extractor fan
Whether you’re cooking on the hob or taking an extra-long shower, an extractor fan in your kitchen and bathroom will do wonders for the air quality. Cooking fumes and steam from boiling can release a myriad of contaminants into the air, while the build-up of steam in the bathroom can lead to mould.
Get rid of the carpet
Carpets might be aesthetically pleasing and keep your feet warm in winter, but they also trap dirt, dust mites, pet furs and mould spores, all of which can contribute to poor hygienic conditions in general and a decline in air quality in particular. If you must have carpets, be sure to wash them frequently.
Take off shoes
Researchers recently found that the sole of a shoe can contain up to 421,000 units of bacteria, not to mention all of the other dirt and toxins they bring. Collectively, these contaminants can cause or exacerbate a number of conditions, including diarrheal disease, meningitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Leave them at the door!
Check your appliances
Stoves, furnaces and space heaters are a leading cause of pollution in the home. As well as cleaning chimneys and ducts and replacing air filters, make sure that your appliances are up to spec by having a professional check them regularly.
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