Indoor Air Pollution May Have Greater Effect on Health that Outdoor Pollution

There is a lot of concern around the world about the harmful effects of outdoor air pollution, and for good reason. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 4.2 million people around the globe die prematurely as a result of outdoor air pollution.

Poor outdoor air quality is believed to be caused by the effects of global warming, along with wildfires, and the burning of fossil fuels. Despite the fact several countries are trying to improve their outdoor air quality, the number of days with unhealthy air is on the rise.

But outdoor air pollution isn’t the only concern. Indoor air pollution is also known to have an adverse effect on health. According to WHO, nearly 4 million people throughout the world die prematurely from indoor air pollution.

Most of these premature deaths occur when reduced indoor air quality in the home causes illnesses such as pneumonia, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer. Other health issues that occur as a result of indoor air pollution include allergies, asthma, headaches, respiratory infections, sore throats, nose bleeds, rashes, lethargy, and hearing loss.

Poor indoor air quality is mostly the result of using solid fuels and kerosene when cooking. Other things that contribute to indoor air pollution include poor ventilation systems, not cleaning often enough, and high humidity. Some common causes of indoor air pollution include dust, household cleaning chemicals, synthetic fragrances, tobacco smoke, pet dander, and radon gas.

While indoor air pollution doesn’t cause as many premature deaths as outdoor air pollution, the EPA states that the levels of indoor air pollutants can be up to 5 times higher than outdoor levels.

In some cases, the levels of indoor air pollutants are 100 times higher than outdoor levels. One reason that people can become so ill from these high levels of indoor air pollutants is because they spend much more time inside their home than they do outdoors.

Fortunately, there are many things that homeowners can do to reduce the chances of suffering adverse health effects caused by indoor air pollution. Cleaning on a regular basis is very effective when it comes to getting rid of indoor air pollutants like dust and pet dander.

These kinds of pollutants get trapped in carpets and rugs, which means having the right vacuum cleaner, such as the Henry Hoover is very beneficial. Other ways to improve indoor air quality is to get an air purifier, increase ventilation, keep humidity under control, and install a whole-house water filtration system.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.