The air in our homes are often 2 to 5 times more toxic than outdoor air quality. And yet, we often overlook indoor air quality when we consider the factors that influence our health and our wellbeing. You spend approximately half of your life at home, so it’s important to make sure you aren’t spending your time sitting in a cloud of pollution. Let’s examine some of the signs and symptoms of air pollution, plus, some of the surprising sources.
Signs and symptoms of indoor air pollution
The health effects of poor indoor quality can be experienced rapidly, but more often than not, symptoms show up after years of repeated exposure. Depending on your personal sensitivity, how long and how potent the exposure is, you can experience a wide range of symptoms.
Short-term effects of poor indoor air quality include:
- Itchy, dry or irritated eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy throat or coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Agitated allergy or asthma symptoms
- Sinus congestion or infections
If you go a longer period of time exposed to indoor air pollution, you can experience serious symptoms and health consequences due to the constant burden on your body’s immune system.
Long-term effects of poor indoor air quality include:
- Respiratory diseases
- Heart disease
- Chronic inflammatory response syndrome
Where do indoor air toxins come from?
People are often surprised at the sources of indoor air toxins. Everyday this list is growing because manufacturers continue to add chemicals to products at an unprecedented rate. The process for adding new chemicals to our everyday items has almost zero oversight. Meaning, we often don’t know a chemical is toxic until after it’s caused harm.
This is why everyone should include reducing their toxin exposure to their daily routine – it’s as important as diet and exercise. You can learn more about reducing your toxin exposure with my free guide.
When it comes to indoor air toxins, there are a number of sources you might not have considered.
- Mold – Our homes are essentially made from thick paper and wood. When water or moisture is added, it’s a perfect breeding ground for mold and mold spores. If your home has mold, you’ll often notice your symptoms are worse after a rain or on a day with high humidity.
- Furniture – Our furniture is a major source of indoor air contaminants. Chemicals are often used on furniture as fire retardants or other protective coatings. Toxic gases, vapor, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can offgas from your furniture for months, even years after you’ve purchased it.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – VOC levels are common in household products and a major source of indoor air pollution. Sources of VOCs include cleaning supplies, aerosol sprays, dry cleaning, air fresheners, paint, and wood treatments.
- Stoves, fireplaces, heaters – Stove and heater leaks, fireplace smoke, and carbon monoxide from chimneys may not be enough to set any alarms off but could still be contributing your you health. Have these checked and don’t ignore the smell of gas.
- Dust mites – One of the most powerful indoor biological allergen prefers damp environments and contaminates your air.
- Airborne viruses and bacteria – Airborne viruses and bacteria are major culprits behind the flu and other illness. Air purifiers actually clean your air and remove these infection causing pathogens.
- Pet dander – Flakes of skin from your pet add to indoor air pollution.
- Pollen from plants – While plants are a nice addition to your home, their pollen contributes to the overall air quality, and without purification can cause problems.
- Printers and other electronics – Gases and chemical from electronics, printer cartridges, and photocopiers.
- Cleaning products – This is a more obvious source of chemicals, I encourage you to use only natural cleaning products.
- Tobacco smoke – I really hope you aren’t smoking inside (or at all for that matter!) but if you do, you most definitely need an air purifier.
Most homes have a majority of the items listed here, so it’s easy to see how these can compound on one another and without proper air circulation and purification, your home can quickly become a cloud of indoor air pollution.
Fortunately, awareness of potential toxin sources is half the battle.
The tricky part about toxins in the air is you really only have two options:
- Eliminate the source
- Purify the air
Because indoor air pollution has a cumulative effect on your health and we can’t know every possible source, I often recommend air purifiers to my patients.
Would your family benefit from an air purifier?
You can eliminate most of the mystery behind potential air toxin sources by getting an air purifier. I recommend air purifiers to any of my patients who are struggling with their health because it’s a relatively easy way to reduce their overall toxic burden.
I’ve seen first hand how air purifiers can help patients struggling with their health – especially anyone with chronic inflammatory response syndrome, asthma or allergies. Though there is an initial investment with any worthwhile air purifier, it pays for itself in clean air after only a few months.
Think about it.
Most people are home for minimum of 8 hours to 12 hours each day, that works out to be half of your life. Imagine the impact of ensuring the air you’re breathing during that time is clean, fresh, and most importantly, free of toxins.
Breathe easier with Austin Air
I don’t highlight any product unless I’m a firm believer in what they have to offer. For anything to earn a place on my website, it needs to offer value to your life and your health. I also only make recommendations after I’ve used a product personally and can vouch for the daily experience.
Austin Air purifiers are one of these products.
I use these air purifiers in my home and office, and have seen the difference in my own health. After my mold exposure and CIRS illness in 2014 these air purifiers were one of my most helpful tools in getting well! I’m not the only one who approves of Austin Air purifiers, both the American Red Cross and the U.S. Government use these.
These filters are also great in homes with people who have asthma. One study found Austin Air filters reduced the number of emergency room visits in children with asthma by 18.5 percent.
While there are other air filters on the market that are suitable, I just recommend you check that their HEPA filters are capable of capturing particles at least 0.3 microns in size. No matter which air purifier you opt for, it might surprise you just how much your health will benefit when you clean up your indoor air quality.
I’m a professional dealer for Austin Air, meaning you can get a discount when you order through me. I appreciate transparency as much as you do, which is why I wanted to share with you that as a dealer I also receive affiliate compensation when you make a purchase. None of that cost is passed on to you, it’s just the way Austin Air partners with people who believe in their product.
That being said, if you’re interested you can call the office at 303-993-7910 to order and we will drop ship to your home with 10% discount… Just in time for the holidays!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.