How Toxic Indoor Air Pollution in Your Home Can Contribute to Asthma, Allergies, COPD, Chemical Sensitivities, and Cancer
Finding it difficult to breathe in your home? Having symptoms at home that disappear when you go someplace else? Are your eyes, nose, and throat frequently irritated?The problem could be indoor air pollution.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls indoor air pollution the nation’s number one environmental health problem. Health effects can be immediate or long-term and range from slight annoyance to death.Even if you show or experience no symptoms now, indoor air pollutants can be slowly building up in your body, contributing to illnesses that only show up years later.
Awareness of indoor air pollution began in the 1970s when concerns about conserving energy resulted in building homes “tighter” to keep heated and cooled air within the building. This also prevented gasses from plastics, particle board and other sources from escaping, causing them to build up to high levels within the home. People began to get sick from this buildup of chemicals.
There are many indoor air pollutants, but they all fall into three categories:
- Particulates—bits of pollen, dust, and animal dander
- Gasses—misty vapors of volatile chemicals such as formaldehyde, perfumes, plastics, paints and finishes, solvents, and pesticides
- Micro-organisms—bacteria, viruses, molds
Particulates can easily cause breathing difficulties when many are present in the air.Gasses of toxic chemicals can cause damage to the lungs that can cause both irritations now and cancer later.Micro-organisms can infect the body, leading to all kinds of illnesses.
- Tobacco smoke, one of the few indoor air pollutants studied, is made up of both gasses and particulates, and can lead to cancer for both the smoker and those who breathe second-hand smoke.
- Formaldehyde is a common indoor air pollutant that irritates the eyes, nose, and throat and causes cancer. Insomnia is also associated with formaldehyde exposure, particularly from permanent-press bedlinens. Another source of formaldehyde exposure is particleboard in stereo speakers, cabinets, subfloors, and solid-core doors.
- Wall-to-wall carpet contributes greatly to indoor air pollution, outgassing toxic fumes from the plastics used to make fiber and padding and harboring dust and molds. Dust even acts as a carrier for chemicals, which piggyback on particles as they move around the home.
Many different pollutants could enter your lungs each time you take a breath.There are two ways to reduce indoor air pollution—remove indoor air pollutants at their source, and use an air purifier to get what is airborne.Removing sources of pollutants and replacing them with safe products is a sure way to eliminate indoor air pollutants. But this can be a long and expensive process, one which requires knowledge of which products are emitting pollutants, and which product can be used as safe replacements.It’s fairly easy, for example, to replace permanent-press bed linens that emit formaldehyde with cotton flannel bed linens that don’t. It’s more difficult to take out all the wall-to-wall carpet in your home and replace it with safe flooring.
It’s easier to get a stand-alone air purifier that will remove all three types of pollutants: particulates, gasses, and micro-organisms. By using an air purifier, you can immediately clear the air of pollutants that may be harming your health, and get immediate relief of symptoms. Once you see the difference, you can begin to learn the sources of indoor air pollutants and replace them with safer products as time and budget permits.When looking for an air purifier, you want to get one that will effectively remove all three types of pollutants.The preferred filtration method for particles is HEPA—High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance. HEPA filters are rated at 99.99 percent efficient for particles 0.3 microns in size (dust, pollen, and plant and mold spores).
Activated carbon has been used in air filters for many years to remove gasses. It works by a process where pollutant gasses are passed through carbon.While activated carbon can work to remove some pollutants from the air, there are still problems with it. For example, when the carbon cartridge becomes full of pollutant, the pollutants can release back into the air, creating an even higher concentration of pollutants. And carbon media is often treated with chemical additives to improve efficiency or have broader effects.
New technologies now exist that destroy the bonds between the molecules in a variety of toxic chemicals, allowing them to break down and be retained by the media. When broken down, it eliminates the toxic chemical from the living space.
The EnviroKlenz family of products utilizes a patented metal oxide technology that is proven to be highly efficient “destructive adsorbents” for chemicals. When the technology comes into contact with harmful odor causing chemicals, the metal oxides’ active sites first capture the chemical then initiate the neutralization process.
This type of action is needed for the numerous types of odorous chemicals that possess a variety of different functional groups. The increased surface area, unique physical morphology, high chemical reactivity, and functional porosity, all contribute to the enhanced chemical adsorption and odor neutralizing characteristics found in the EnviroKlenz Mobile Air System.
The unit is a portable, room-sized air filtrations system that utilizes advanced chemical neutralization technology along with HEPA filtration to address both chemical and particulate pollutants. It is small and quiet but packs a punch for addressing the various types of pollutants found in indoor spaces. As the air is circulated it passes through two different stages of filtration: one to neutralize chemicals, and a second to focus on the particulates. This combination makes the EnviroKlenz Mobile Air System the choice for restoring liability to your personal environment spaces.