We worry when air quality makes headlines in cities around the world, but what about the quality of the air indoors, where we spend 90% of our time? Outdoor air pollution in the form of particulate matter doesn’t stop at our doors or windows. In fact, additional sources of particulate matter are found all over our indoor spaces, from chemicals in cleaning supplies, building products, furniture and carpeting, to pet dander, mold, bacteria, dust mites and even radon gas in many areas.
Air quality control crucial
The places where we spend the most time are loaded with particulate matter that impacts our health and, perhaps most importantly, the health of our children. Breathing in harmful particulate matter of any size has been linked in many scientific studies to significant health problems including asthma, chronic bronchitis and decreasing lung function. Studies have also found that children face higher risks from the detrimental effects of airborne pollution. Children breathe faster than adults and their lungs are still developing, magnifying the impacts of breathing in harmful particulates.
How to improve indoor air quality
Purifying the air where we live and play has never been more important. There are two ways to do it: increasing ventilation and/or using indoor air purifiers. Adding ventilation is a double-edged sword. Bringing more outside air in may add outdoor pollutants to indoor air. On the other hand, it may also equalize what is typically poorer quality indoor air with less toxic – but still polluted – outdoor air.
Fortunately, independent evidence indicates that using indoor air purifiers with advanced air cleaning technologies can make a big difference, removing allergens associated with pets, dust mites, mold and bacteria as well as cold and flu viruses. They have also been proven by independent research to rid indoor air of PM10 and PM2.5 particles, including dust, traffic and industrial particles, as well as the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaning products such as chlorine, ammonia, paints, floor polishes, furnishings – even air fresheners.
Find out more about some of the specific issues related to home air quality, from bedrooms to basements to kitchens, and from renovating a room to bringing home a baby.