Your home's indoor air quality plays a large role in your family's health. Taking care to eliminate pollutants, allergens and contaminants from your home will improve both indoor air quality and energy efficiency. Working to eliminate the five common causes of poor indoor air quality can substantially increase your comfort, health and wellness and create a healthier home environment.
Prior to 1978, lead was commonly used as an additive in paint. It's also widely known to be toxic to humans. Even small amounts of dust from lead paint can result in serious health issues in the form of lead poisoning.
Symptoms of lead poisoning include:
- Developmental delays or learning disabilities
- A loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
- Hearing loss
- Vomiting, nausea or constipation
- Irritability or mood changes
Lead paint most often occurs when the existing paint begins to peel and is consumed by a child. However, disturbing lead paint while doing other home improvements can also release lead into the air resulting in lead poisoning. All homeowners who have homes built prior to 1978 must mitigate their risk of exposure to lead. This includes:
- Taking care to eliminate or clean up dust after home improvements
- Promptly addressing areas where paint is flaking or peeling
- Ensuring all work areas are cleaned as soon as work is complete.
Cigarette smoke is one of the most common contaminants and one of the easiest to eliminate. Cigarette smoke is dangerous to everyone's health, even to people who have never smoked. Secondhand smoke has been shown to cause all of the health problems that are commonly associated with smoking. Furthermore, when an individual smokes indoors, the contaminants released into the air circulate through the HVAC system.
Symptoms of smoke exposure include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Aggravation of asthma or allergies
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Lung cancer
In order to eliminate the chance of being impacted by cigarette smoke, be sure no one smokes indoors.
Radon is a odorless, tasteless gas that gives no warning. For those affected by radon, there are few symptoms or warning signs. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that they've been exposed to radon until they're diagnosed with lung cancer.
Create a healthier home environment by having the home inspected for radon contamination. If found, have the issue addressed immediately. Fan systems with filters may be used to reduce radon exposure. Additionally, consider installing vapor barriers that can block radon from entering the home.
Not having a working smoke detector is the cause of hundreds of deaths every year. It's not enough to install smoke detectors; they must be tested regularly to ensure they're in good working condition. Additionally, the batteries in smoke detectors should be changed in tandem with the change in daylight savings time.
Failing to have working smoke detectors creates a huge safety hazard for your home. Smoke detectors serve as the first line of defense and provide warning to everyone in the home that they are in danger, allowing them to get out in time.
Moisture and Mold
Moisture in a home sets the perfect stage for mold growth, which has a number of negative health impacts, particularly for those individuals with asthma or allergies. Symptoms of the presence of mold or mildew include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Asthma that is uncontrolled
- Having cold-like symptoms that don't improve
Addressing the source of moisture intrusion is the best way to eliminate mold from the home. Also, take care to ensure the home is well ventilated to avoid problems in the future.
Pesticides are used in a number of household tasks, but once they're used within a home, the contaminants stay in the air and circulate throughout the home. Some of the more severe side effects of pesticide exposure include cancer, birth defects and low birth rates.
Avoid the risk posed by pesticides and have a healthier home environment by limiting the use of pesticides indoor. Also verify that these items are stored away from children.
Receive additional tips on how to create a healthier home environment by finding a professional, licensed Mitsubishi Electric contractor near you.