Air pollution is a topic of great concern to many people in urban areas. Considering the health difficulties caused or worsened by air pollution from asthma to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and emphysema, this is completely understandable, but people too often to be focused in one are of concern without looking into a broader and more comprehensive view of air pollution that can affect their health.
Most people tend to associate air pollution with industrial pollutants from factories or carbon monoxide from combustion engine exhaust (primarily from automobiles), but indoor air pollution is a huge and growing problem. How important? Dr. Mercola gives us a view of the magnitude of the issue:
“The data indicates that people who are employed in the U.S. spend 2 percent of their time outside, 6 percent in transit and 92 percent of their time indoors.
“This means your indoor air quality is more important to your long-term health than the air you breathe outside. Interestingly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states the levels of indoor air pollution can be between two and five times higher inside than they are outside.
“Some indoor pollutants can be as much as 100 times higher than outdoor levels. These differences are related to the type of pollution and the relative lack of air exchange in new energy efficient homes. According to the EPA, poor indoor air quality is one of the top risks to public health.“
The exposure to pollutants in our breathable air is constant while indoors, from paints to cleaning products to building materials to pesticides (including ant or roach sprays) to building materials including pressed wood such as particle board or plywood.
So, the question is what can be done about this issue? Several options exist to help the situation. Among these options are opening windows and decorating your home and work space with plants. Both of these will help to improve the air flow and quality of the air around you. Removing harsh cleaning products and those with strong scents can help your lungs to better process the air that is inhaled. Also, consider filtering both water and air that you come into contact with.
In summation, be aware of indoor materials in your immediate environment that can affect your breathing and take appropriate precautions to take care of your body by controlling what goes into your body.