How Do I Clean the Air in My Home?

November 27, 2020 3 min read

How Do I Clean the Air in My Home?

Shop

Winter has well and truly set in and the chances are that indoor, rather than outdoor, air pollution is now the primary threat to our health, particularly if you suffer from allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions. So, how do I clean the air in my home? A new paper from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) reviews the state of indoor air pollution in the UK.

This study points out that while it's well known that outdoor air pollution is harmful to health, most people are not aware of the severe impact that indoor air pollution can have on your health. Indoor air pollution in your home can come from:

  • Building materials, furniture, and furnishings as well as cooking, heating, smoking and the use of products like paints, varnishes, ordinary cleaning products
  • Outdoor pollution entering through windows, as well as cracks and leaks in a building
  • Natural radon gas entering from the basement of a building - may be less of a concern for those with allergies, but a proven cause of lung cancer
  • Pet dander and dust mites allergens in your home, as well as mould

Some of the indoor pollutants from these sources that can accumulate in your home include nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, radon, tobacco smoke, allergens like mould and house dust mite and volatile organic compounds. While there is plenty of scientific evidence for the health impacts of carbon monoxide and radon, lack of research and monitoring mean that less is known about the dangers of exposure to other indoor pollutants.

Does the POST paper highlight what we do know about some key indoor pollutants - a starting point for further research perhaps? Here's a summary.....

  • Particulate matter (PM) can damage the heart and lungs, with smaller particles getting deep into the lungs and causing inflammation. The ultra-fine particles can reach the gas exchange regions, This, in turn, can increase the risk of blood clotting, setting the scene for a heart attack. Oh, and did you know that stir-frying can produce a lot of PM, including superheated oil particles.
  • Higher levels of nitrogen oxides indoors have been linked to higher levels of respiratory symptoms in children, according to the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants. Gas, coal and wood-based cooking and heating appliances may raise levels of nitrogen oxides indoors.
  • Carbon monoxide causes nearly 50 accidental deaths a year in England and Wales and there's a possibility that chronic exposure may damage the nervous system. Faulty gas cookers and solid fuel boilers are responsible for carbon monoxide emissions in the home.
  • Tobacco smoke reduces lung function, triggers asthma attacks and irritates eyes.
  • Allergens trigger rhinitis and asthma. The main allergens in the home are house dust mite droppings, fungal particles, pet dander, and pollen.

Volatile organic compounds irritate the lungs, with children being especially vulnerable. They include both natural and synthetic chemicals like formaldehyde, coming from several sources including construction products, cleaning products, air fresheners, paints and electrical goods.

Clearly, exposure to indoor air pollution may pose a substantial health risk. So how can UK regulation and policy be improved to deal with the threat? The POST paper has some thought-provoking suggestions....(to be continued)

Source: Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Note 366 UK Indoor Air Quality November 2010


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

COVID-19

Shop

Coronavirus Air Purifiers: Do They Help?

May 12, 2021 5 min read

The average domestic air purifier should not be considered for the removal of airborne coronavirus, especially those air purifiers which do not clearly state the air purifier’s filtration efficiency. Instead, we will assess what you will need to be aware of when searching for the air purifier to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Information About Hay Fever in March

Shop

Information About Hay Fever in March

March 08, 2021 3 min read

Hay fever in march tends brings on sneezing, a runny and/or blocked nose and red, streaming eyes. If you experience these symptoms, then it is likely that you have seasonal allergic rhinitis - also known as hay fever. Having Hay Fever means that you are likely allergic to pollen and, at this time of the year, it is most likely that tree pollen is the underlying cause.

Vax Air Purifier Review

Shop

Vax Air Purifier Review

February 09, 2021 6 min read

The VAX AP03 air purifier is a basic mid-range air purifier with basic features. The timer is simple, but the filter life indicator seems flawed. It is hard to imagine the odour/carbon filter to be anything else then ineffective in capturing and retaining gases and chemicals.

Be part of our regular news updates