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Indoor Air Pollution and Your Health

The quality of the air inside the home or office can significantly impact one’s health. Many people are aware that breathing outdoor air pollutants (ozone, particulate matter, diesel fumes, carbon monoxide among others) increases the likelihood of developing serious health problems, such as asthma, heart disease and cancer. However, many of us do not realize that the air inside our home can be up to 10 times dirtier than outdoor air.

Indoor air pollution refers to air pollutants that occur inside buildings or other enclosed spaces. Examples of indoor air pollutants include dust, fibers, smoke, bio-aerosols, radon, pesticides, asbestos, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Some sources, including building materials, furnishings and household products like cleaning sprays and air fresheners, release high concentrations of pollutants. High pollutant concentrations can remain in the air for long durations, increasing the potential for serious health problems and illnesses.

Evidence has proven that individuals exposed to chemicals, even over short periods of time, may develop immediate health effects, including eye and throat irritation, nasal congestion, chest tightness, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Long-term health effects may develop years after exposure to pollutants. These effects include cancer, heart disease, asthma, allergy and other respiratory diseases, all of which can be severely debilitating or fatal.

Inadequate ventilation increases indoor pollutant levels by not allowing in enough outdoor air to dilute indoor air pollutant sources and by not carrying them out of the home. Unless homes are built with special mechanical means of ventilation, such as outdoor-vented fans, or air handling systems, “airtight” homes may have higher pollutant levels than other homes. When there is limited ventilation, the air exchange rate is low, and the level of pollutants then pose health and comfort problems.

Research has proven that a freestanding air purifier with a medical-grade HEPA filter and activated carbon is effective at reducing particulate levels and trapping harmful chemicals, gases and vapors. Austin Air, a USA-based manufacturer of portable air purification systems, is regarded by leading doctors, allergists and indoor air quality experts as the air cleaner of choice. The Austin Air HealthMate, their most popular unit, features Hospital Grade HEPA filtration for the removal of 99.97% of all airborne particulate matter larger than 0.3 microns (dust, pet dander, bacteria, viruses, germs, pollen, and mold spores). This unit also includes activated granular carbon for the elimination of over 3000 toxic gaseous chemicals, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and noxious odors. Unlike many of the cheap ionizing-producers sold via television commercials, Austin Air purifiers do not emit harmful ozone gas, which can aggravate asthma and irritate the upper respiratory system.

Source by Greg Clark

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