The Two Worst Indoor Air Pollutants
Updated: Jan 7
If we’ve learned anything in the past three years, it’s that the air we breathe is as important as any other health concern. The quality of the air that we breathe can drastically affect health–be it bringing in pollutants that irritate the respiratory system, or bacterias that can cause great damage to our overall health.
It’s not all bad news, though–there are many things you can do to better the quality of the air that you breathe inside your home as we lay out in one of our most popular posts!
Although there are many different types of pollutants that can sneak into your home, today we’re just going to go over a few of the top offenders to look out for and protect your family against, as well as some symptoms you may be feeling if your home is indeed polluted with one of the following pollutants: asbestos and carbon monoxide.
Let’s jump into it…
What is it? Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance found in many old homes. It is a fibrous silicate material made up of microscopic fibrils (very small shards that hold the substance together). When under abrasion, asbestos will release microscopic fibrils into the air. Exposure to asbestos has a very negative effect on health. Those exposed to asbestos are at risk for developing lung disease, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
What are the symptoms? Here we will focus on asbestosis, which is a serious lung condition caused by regular exposure to asbestos. Due to the small fibrils that are released into the air when the substance is under stress or agitated, breathing in these microscopic shards can severely damage the lungs. Symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Pain in the chest or shoulder
It’s important to note that many symptoms won’t appear until some time decades after long-term exposure. For that reason, it’s extremely important to make sure that your home is asbestos-free, because you may not know until it’s too late.
What is it? Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be present in the air even when there are no visible signs of combustion. It is formed by the combination of carbon and oxygen. This mixture can occur naturally or can be produced during any form of activity that leads to the emission of heat and carbon dioxide, which can include motor exhausts or broken heat exchangers in a furnace.
What are the symptoms? Carbon monoxide can be extremely harmful to humans when inhaled in large amounts. When inhaled, the gas binds to hemoglobin in the red blood cells and prevents oxygen from being transported to other tissues and organs throughout the body. As a result, these tissues and organs become starved of oxygen, which causes symptoms such as:
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a threat to tightly enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. Since most carbon monoxide sources happen outdoors, spaces with poor ventilation can be at risk. For this reason, it’s very important to not only have a carbon monoxide detector in your home but to always ensure that it has fully functioning batteries, as carbon monoxide has no color or odor, making it almost entirely undetectable to humans before symptoms set in.
How to check your air quality
There are a variety of ways to monitor the air quality in your home, ranging from analog to digital. Some strategies include:
Get an indoor air quality monitor. These gadgets can run a very wide gamut, depending on how advanced you want them to be and what you’d like them to test for. Prices for affordable models can range in the $50s, like this Alexa-compatible model, all the way into the triple digits, like this air quality tester that includes everything and the kitchen sink. With an air quality monitor, you can see the exact levels of pollutants which will allow you to address the issue in the appropriate manner.
Monitor your health. Once you’re aware of the air quality in your home, it’s not only important that you monitor your health, but also important to know just how the pollutants may or may not be affecting you. Pay special attention to symptoms like itchy eyes, a sensitive respiratory system, sneezing, and coughing. Of course, if you are experiencing these symptoms and believe poor indoor air quality to be the culprit, it’s important to also talk to your doctor while trying to remedy the air quality at home.
Get an air purifier. Although we recommend speaking to a professional about air quality, getting an air purifier can surely save you real headaches. These can be especially useful if you or your family members suffer from asthma or other breathing difficulties, as an air purifier can really help alleviate some of the pressure.
Call a professional! While some problems with air quality might be able to be solved with an air purifier, we always encourage getting ahold of a professional to address your quality. When it comes to the air you breathe, it’s extremely important to make sure that it’s safe and clean.
Need help with anything air quality? Please, don’t hesitate in giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We’re happy to hear from you and are excited to help you along the way.
For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community.
Or check out our website at www.tripointrefrigeration.com
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