We, humans, are pretty resilient but prolonged exposure to indoor air pollution and high concentrations of allergens will eventually get the best of us.
Air quality or AQ is highly essential to everybody’s health. Such that rates vary like “Good” AQ is 0 to 50. Air quality is considered satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk. “Moderate” AQ is 51 to 100. Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants, there may be an elderly moderate health concern for a very small number of people. Unhealthy Air Quality, at 101 to 150, the air is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. The elderly, children and people with lung disease are vulnerable to the effects of ozone pollution; and the elderly, children and those with heart and lung disease are at risk from particulate matter.
On a clear breezy day, the air smells fresh and clean. Clean air is good for people to breathe and has no harmful levels of pollutants (dirt and chemicals) in it. On a hot day with no wind, the air can feel heavy and have a bad smell-due to air pollution.
Most of this air pollution we cause results from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline to produce electricity and power our vehicles. Carbon dioxide is a good indicator of how much fossil is burned and how much of other pollutants are emitted as a result.
Air pollution is a type of environmental pollution that affects the air and is usually caused by smoke or other harmful gases, mainly oxides of carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen. It consists of gaseous, liquids or solid substances that when present insufficient time and under certain conditions tend to interfere with human conflict, health or welfare and cause environmental damages. There are different types of air pollution such as particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulfur dioxide.
Here are some tips to protect you from unhealthy air:
- Check daily air pollution forecast in your area
- Avoid exercising outdoors when the pollution level is high
- Always avoid exercising near high-traffic areas
- Use less energy in your home
- Encourage your child’s school to reduce exposure to school bus emission
- Walk, bike or carpool
- Don’t burn woods or trash
- Control Indoor Allergens to improve air quality
Allergy and asthma control begins at home. Many people with allergies stay indoors when pollen and mold are high. But dust mites, pet dander, and even cockroaches can cause problems indoors.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a government agency in charge of environmental control recommends ways you can improve indoor air quality:
- Control your contact with indoor airborne allergens
- Ventilate your indoor areas well
- Use air cleaners to clean indoor air
- Better air quality in our own home, office, and school and even in a car can reduce allergy and asthma triggers.
Controlling indoor allergens is possible and can be done by applying cleaning and reducing allergens in your own home. Commonly, the main sources of indoor allergens are pets, wall to wall carpet, soft furniture, stuffed toys, bedding, damp areas, indoor plants, mattresses that aren’t in allergy covers, and pillows and bedding you can’t wash in hot water.
Additionally, air-cleaning devices might help. But the best way to improve your air quality is to get rid of or eliminate the sources of allergens and irritates from your home. Take measures to avoid and reduce your contact with allergens. Also, increase the flow of outdoor air into your home and reduce humidity as much as possible.
Moreover, reducing humidity decreases dust mites and molds growth. Air conditioners help reduce humidity too. They can also prevent outdoor allergens. Keeping your windows and doors closed. Turn off your air conditioner or re-circulation. These steps can help reduce outdoor allergens like pollen and mold.
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