4 Common Air Pollutants In The Home And How To Prevent Them

Homes are full of microbiological pollutants. Depending on a person’s sensitivities, these pollutants can influence their health. Whether it be skin irritation, or respiratory problems, pollutants can compound a problem if they are not reduced to a safe level. Here are four of the most common pollutants found in the home, and how they can be managed.

Carbon monoxide

This gas is naturally occurring, and its most likely source comes from burning fossil fuels like gas, coal and oil. CO is particularly dangerous as it has no detectable taste or smell, so increasingly elevated levels are almost impossible to detect without help. When CO is breathed into the body, it reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood stream making a person lethargic, so if tiredness is an issue, this could be a possible reason.

To prevent Co build up, it is vital that appliances are checked on an annual basis, including cookers and boilers, as well as any fireplaces that do not use electricity. Fitting a carbon monoxide detector will also alert the homeowner to a rise in CO levels, giving the opportunity to fix the issue before it affects health.

Radon

This is another odorless gas that is naturally occurring in the atmosphere, and comes from the gradual breakdown of uranium, which is another natural process. High levels of radon can contribute to respiratory problems, and in some cases, be the cause of lung cancer.

Homes are usually screened for radon prior to being built, and then again as part of the house purchase procedure, however there are home screening kits that are available, or a professional can be brought in to test the property. High levels of radon can be fixed, however qualified professionals must be hired for this purpose.

Nitrogen dioxide

This gas is a common oxide of nitrogen, and is usually found in elevated levels at the site of a fire. NO2 affects the respiratory system, but can also cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat. Low levels of NO2 can affect breathing in people with a history of respiratory illness, and high levels can lead to a pulmonary edema (fluid build-up on the lungs). Bronchitis is also another common condition caused by NO2.

To reduce the presence of NO2 in the home, combustion appliances such as heaters should be installed, and regularly maintained by professionals, and cars should not be left to idle in enclosed spaces such as garages for a lengthy period of time.

Mold

Mold is a fungus that grows indoors. It is common to find it in hotter, more humid parts of the home such as bathrooms and kitchens. While not all strains of mold are harmful, some can trigger allergic reactions including blocked noses, streaming eyes, sore throats, coughing and skin irritation.

To prevent mold build up, it is recommended to keep rooms like the bathroom and kitchen well ventilated with a window open, and if the problem is particularly bad, to use a fixed, or portable air conditioner. Give us a call for further information on mold removal.

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