Health Effects of Poor Air Quality
Every day, different harmful particles pollute the air that we breathe in, but we remain unaware of them until we start feeling sick.
Poor air quality occurs when contaminants become present in the air and this can happen indoors and outdoors. The more exposed you are to poor air quality, the higher your risk to acquire certain illnesses. Here are some common contaminants that pollute the air and how they can affect your health:
Indoor pollutants are hard to determine and because we stay longer indoors than outdoors, we have to make sure that we have good indoor air quality. Common indoor pollutants are molds, mildew, toxic metals, second-hand smoke, household chemical fumes and other materials that release gases. Here are some health conditions that may arise due to poor indoor air quality:
- Itchy nose
- Itchy throat
- Breathing disorders
For your home, you can buy an indoor air quality testing kit to determine if you are breathing in harmful particles that may put your health and your family’s health at risk. Also, avoid smoking inside the house and use eco-friendly household products.
Outside pollution is common because of all the cars, machines, factories that operate in our area. Here are some common pollutants found in outdoor air quality.
- Particulate matter (PM) or Soot – can cause lung problems and worsen the condition of those who are already suffering from heart and lung diseases.
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) – can irritate the lungs and decrease immunity to respiratory problems.
- Ozone (O3) – irritates the airways and increases symptoms of those suffering from asthma and other lung diseases like COPD.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) – hinders normal transportation of oxygen by the blood thereby, increasing irritation to those suffering from heart disease.
- Lead and heavy metals – small amounts of lead and heavy metals are enough to cause harm, especially among children. Prolonged exposure to such particles can impair motor and visual skills, and may cause brain damage.
Outdoor pollutants are hard to contain but you can ask your local area if you have forecasts on outdoor air quality. Avoid going out on days when outdoor pollution is high. Wear surgical masks when going outdoors then make sure to shower right away when you reach home to prevent outdoor pollutants from contaminating your home air quality.