When people talk about air pollution, what usually comes to mind is the smog that pollutes urban cities. It makes sense. In both developed and growing cities, outdoor air is often comprised of industrial exhausts, radiation, accumulated smoke from cars caught in traffic jams, and toxic chemicals. People would rather stay in their homes because of this, thinking it is safer to be indoors. In reality, there is no escaping air pollution.
A survey by the Environmental Protection Agency of American homes reveals that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than air outside. What makes it even more alarming is the fact that people spend 90 percent of their time indoors. Thankfully, you can make your home a safer place simply by improving its air quality.
Here are 7 ways to improve air quality in your home.
1. Don’t smoke indoors.
Cigarette smoke is particularly dangerous as it releases toxic fumes. But even tobacco smoke from pipes and cigars are equally guilty of polluting indoor air. Alternatives such as “vaping” or e-cigarettes are no good either. Recent research proves that e-cigarettes still contain cancer-causing chemicals despite the hype that they are supposedly safer to use.
Cigarettes are packed with thousands of toxic chemicals that are released into the air when lit up. Five of them are nicotine, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, and hydrogen cyanide.
Nicotine influences the way a body functions and can increase your heart rate and blood pressure – a deadly combination for people with heart problems. Inhalation of carbon monoxide prevents us from taking in oxygenated air, and so our most vital organs don’t receive the oxygen they need. Both formaldehyde and benzene are known to cause cancer. Hydrogen cyanide, if you must know, is a gas that used to be applied in chemical warfare. Exposure to this chemical leads to nasty side effects such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, fast breathing, and headaches.
While smoking through pipes and cigars is not as deadly, they still have tobacco. And the tobacco industry uses fertilizers that contain radon, a radioactive compound. As farms continue to use these fertilizers, the soil where the tobacco plants grow becomes concentrated with radon. Radon is then absorbed by the tobacco leaves and stays with them until they are repackaged.
How to improve air quality in your home: It doesn’t matter if you prefer cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or e-cigarettes. Regardless of your poison, you should never smoke inside your home. The same rule must apply to guests.