8 Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Share:

8 Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Bonface Landi · Aug 31, 2021
Young man cleans out his AC filter to eliminate unwanted indoor air pollutants.

We’re so busy trying to protect ourselves from outdoor air pollution and all its harmful effects, it’s easy to forget that the air inside our homes can be just as harmful. Your living room might not necessarily be filled with smoke or smog, but indoor pollutants are still dangerous. In fact, they’re often even riskier because we tend to ignore them, despite their being mostly two to five times more common than outdoor pollutants.

There are several effects of inhaling polluted air, including an increased risk of asthma, bronchitis, breathing problems, and more serious cardiovascular disorders like stroke. That’s why it’s so important to identify these pollutants early on and take the necessary steps to keep them in check.

Here are some surprising sources of indoor air pollution, as well as some helpful tips for keeping your apartment air quality as good as possible:

The Kitchen

Believe it or not, your kitchen is one of the major contributors to air pollution in your home. Mainly, both poorly ventilated or installed gas stoves and coated cookware release highly toxic chemicals and gases. Higher concentrations of these toxins can lead to constant headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, and confusion among you and your roommates. Lucky for us all, there are many products designed to get rid of any harmful gases and chemicals floating around this part of the house. Furthermore, you should always ensure that your kitchen is well-ventilated by keeping your windows open. If possible, set up a fan nearby to get even more air flowing.

Fresh Paint

Fresh paint is a surprising source of indoor air pollution.

As much as paint enhances your home’s appearance, it’s also a source of indoor pollution. That’s because most paints used to color walls contain volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs. These are harmful chemicals that can be transferred into the air when the paint is still wet. When you breathe in VOC-laden air, you might start to experience respiratory problems. If you already suffer from cardiovascular conditions like heart disease, your symptoms may become more pronounced.

To reduce the pollution risk posed by paint, look for brands touting very low levels of VOCs. If possible, you should avoid painting with VOCs altogether. It will also help if you keep the windows open whenever paint is drying in your apartment. In addition, make sure that all cans containing paint are properly sealed and put away after each use.

Thirdhand Smoke

You probably already know the dangers of first and secondhand smoking – but what you might not know is that thirdhand smoking is equally dangerous. Thirdhand smoke is mostly the chemical residue of tobacco smoke that clings on walls, clothing, furniture, cushions, carpets, and several other materials in your home. This smoke is highly toxic and can cause severe health issues. To prevent such problems, you should avoid smoking in your house at all costs. You can also help clear these toxins out more effectively with the help of CO2-absorbing houseplants and gadgets like air purifiers.

Carpets

Whether your carpet is old or new, it can be a big source of indoor air pollution. On the one hand, old carpets are virtual magnets for various pathogens like pet dander, mites, and mold. On the other hand, the fabric of your new carpet is highly adhesive and gives off harmful gases and chemicals in its own right. This explains why many people complain about rashes, headaches, sore throats, and itchy eyes whenever they replace their carpets. To prevent such cases, you should clean all the carpets in your apartment thoroughly at least once a week.

Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning products and sprays are often full of harmful VOCs.

You will be forgiven if you thought that cleaning supplies only help keep your house clean. However, this is not the case. Chemicals present in these cleaning supplies emit highly toxic and harmful fumes that can cause their own sets of breathing problems and adversely affect your health. To reduce the damage caused by these products, read the label before buying. Furthermore, you should stick to unscented and aerosol-free products.

Craft Supplies

If your kids love arts and crafts, you should encourage them to do them outside where the ventilation is better. As much as crafting and other related activities might look fun and essential, they can also be harmful to the members of your household. This is more likely to be the case if your kids are working on projects involving markers, glues, and other supplies that emit harmful fumes. Items like these have previously been known to cause eye irritation and headaches.

Gas Appliances

Gas-powered appliances like stoves and fireplaces can release a ton of harmful fumes into your home.

Gas appliances are one of the biggest sources of indoor air pollution. While most people know that a gas furnace can produce carbon monoxide, they don’t think of other gas appliances in their homes quite the same. Unfortunately, fireplaces, ovens, and other appliances that use natural gas can emit highly toxic carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide into your home. To prevent the emission of harmful gases, always ensure that the burners on your gas appliances have blue flame tips. Furthermore, the exhaust fan should always be on when you’re cooking.

You might also like:

Renting an apartment involves more than just signing a lease and paying rent. It’s also about establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with your landlord or property manager. Here are some key points to consider: Effective Communication: Building a good rapport with your community management starts with clear and open communication. Establishing a positive relationship […]

Jessica Lee

 · Jun 26, 2024

|
image

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and or living in the communities. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight apartment communities whose […]

Jessica Lee

 · Jun 26, 2024

|
image

As the summer heat intensifies, it’s crucial for apartment residents to take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and comfort. Here are some essential tips to help you stay cool and safe during the hot summer months. 1. Keep Your Apartment Cool 2. Stay Hydrated and Sun Protected 3. Protect Against Heat-Related Illnesses 4. Prepare […]

Jessica Lee

 · May 30, 2024

|
image