The average home traps an array of harmful pollutants inside. Through air exchanger and purification systems, these pollutants can be expelled; however, both systems are reactive solutions. Homeowners should first consider where their pollutants originate and stop them at the source. To help, we’ve identified the most common sources of indoor pollution.
Smoking cigarettes, cigars and other substances indoors emits harmful pollutants that linger long after snuffing them out. Second-hand smoke contains thousands of toxins. For example, a burning cigarette releases fumes with benzene, cyanide, ammonia and carbon monoxide, all of which cause health complications with long-term exposure.
Households with pets have more dander and dust floating around. For those with respiratory sensitivities, not controlling their levels can have serious consequences. Insects, mold and mildew can also pollute the indoors. Unfortunately, such biological sources need an expert’s attention.
Gas and wood stoves, furnaces and other heating equipment produce nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. In high concentrations, both chemicals are lethal, but minor symptoms include headaches, fatigue and dizziness. Regular furnace and appliance health checks can avoid aforesaid symptoms. Likewise, installing gas detectors in the home can monitor pollution levels.
Cleaning products, especially those in aerosol form, contain harmful chemicals like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These organic gases can come from a bevy of other sources—paints, pesticides, adhesives and even carpets. Prolonged exposure to VOCs can increase people’s risk of health complications like asthma.
Just as carpets can introduce new chemicals into the home, furniture finished with special varnishes or fire-retardants give off a lot of chemicals when first placed into the home. That’s what gives off that “new furniture” smell.