Is Your Home's Air Quality Worse Than You Think?
Although many of us love spending time in the great outdoors, there's nothing quite like coming back home. In fact, some people don't really enjoy leaving for too long, given that Americans spend roughly 90% of their time indoors. But while you'd like to think of your home as a safe refuge from everything that could hurt you in the outside world, the truth is that your house is probably a lot more dangerous to your health than you'd realize.
That's because, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the concentrations of certain pollutants can be two to five times higher indoors than they are outdoors. What's more, the indoor concentrations of some contaminants have increased substantially in recent years, due to the widespread use of synthetic building materials, lack of proper ventilation, and overuse of harmful products.
So what's the big deal? Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to these contaminants can have major consequences for your health. The EPA notes that there are several adverse health effects associated with indoor air pollutants, which can include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, respiratory conditions and irritations, and even cancer and heart diseases. Asthma, allergies, and relatively rare conditions like Legionnaires' disease are all linked to environmental factors, as well. There's also a condition known as "sick building syndrome" that can result in negative health outcomes for individuals when they spend time in a particular building (and that dissipate after they leave that building).
Ultimately, this can make you feel like you're always battling to return to peak physical health. And given that most people stay home in order to recover, that can be particularly problematic (and ironic) for those whose houses are prone to poor air quality. Physical problems aren't the only ones you might face as a result of poor air quality, either. One study found that when volatile organic compound levels were decreased in an environmentally controlled office space, cognitive scores of participants were 101% higher than those working in conventional workspaces. If you regularly work from home in any capacity, having poor air quality can disrupt your productivity and overall performance. Potentially, the contaminants in your home could jeopardize your employment standing -- if you don't take action, that is.
What Can Be Done to Improve Indoor Air Quality?Now that you know the truth about indoor contaminants and can easily answer the question of, "why should I avoid VOCs?," you can take steps to reduce these pollutants inside your home. For one thing, refraining from smoking indoors can improve the quality of life for everyone in your household. You should also take care to use cleaning products and personal care items that do not contain VOCs and other harmful chemicals. Having your HVAC system serviced regularly can also be beneficial.
Aside from ongoing maintenance and changing your shopping habits, you should also pay attention to the materials you use during home construction or renovation. If you plan on taking on a remodeling project, be sure to use air cleaning paints to minimize contaminants and to improve overall air quality. These air cleaning paints can provide all the durability, longevity, and visual appeal you need without resorting to products that could present harm to your family. Fortunately, there are air purifying paints available for all kinds of applications, from wall and ceiling paints to air cleaning paints for floors and furniture. With so many options available today, you won't have to make a choice that could be hazardous to your health -- and that applies to all kinds of products.
To learn more about how our low odor paints can support a healthier home environment, please contact us today.