Indoor Air Dangers, Simple Solutions to a Serious Issue

The following article is by Contributing Author Allie Locke from
The vast number of medical concerns that continue to emerge today, including immune system disorders, neurological issues, and multiple chemical sensitivities, indicate that indoor air quality remains a major health concern. Startlingly, indoor air often contains more toxins than outdoor environments. Furthermore, some of the products homeowners use for sanitary purposes actually contributes to the pollutant problems we see today. However, existing risks are often present in homes as well, especially if they were constructed more than 30 years ago.
Some dangerous materials, like asbestos, were once heavily used in construction and can actually lead to the development of lethal cancers and other diseases. The danger of asbestos lies in its tendency to fragment into small particles, which become suspended in the air where they can be inhaled and irritate internal organs. Unfortunately, mesothelioma symptoms often fail to appear until 20 to 50 years after initial exposure, mimicking those of other illnesses when they finally do appear. Many other air quality threats exist today, especially as these dangerous materials age and are broken into small particles.
The British Medical Journal recently explained that environmental and lifestyle factors in homes are the primary origin of many of the diseases seen frequently today. Unfortunately, until revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act are carried out by Congress, the EPA is under no obligation to ban hazardous products. This means that homeowners are not always protected by government regulation. Furthermore, the EPA can do little to address homes manufactured with unsafe materials in the past. Families could conceivably risk decades of sustained exposure to these dangerous materials in their older homes without taking any precaution at all.
Because of the EPA’s inability to respond to all home air concerns, living in toxin-free environment is a responsibility homeowners must take on themselves. Although all home dangers cannot be immediately addressed, measures exist that can improve overall safety, such as not wearing shoes indoors, improving ventilation and using natural cleaning products. Fortunately, several industrial-quality filtration systemsalso exist to provide homeowners with the comfort and safety they deserve. Some of these units can provide significant protection, meeting HEPA filtration rates of 99.97% efficiency for particles .3 microns and larger. These systems can literally allow families to breathe easier in their homes, knowing they are protected.
Unfortunately, home air quality remains a largely overlooked health concern in the U.S. While much attention is given to easily-identifiable home dangers like poor wiring, Americans continue to neglect the direct threat pollutants pose. Although largely hidden and difficult to locate without professional training, these respiratory risks in older homes can be effectively dealt with through improved home filtration units. Ending the sustained inhalation of foreign particles is one of the easiest and most effective ways homeowners can protect the wellbeing of their families. However, until all Americans recognize the value of pure indoor air, these health trends will continue or even accelerate as homes age and dangerous materials continue to be exposed.
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