The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Environmental research has uncovered a surprising and disturbing factor in our health -- the quality of air in our home. It is much more important than we thought.
According to the Congressional Quarterly, indoor air is often two to five times more polluted than outdoor air -- and can be up to 100 times as dirty. Although this is a serious health concern, we are fortunate that our homes and offices can have clean air for healthy living right now.
When we hear the words "air pollution," we think of smog outside. But recent research suggests that the real risks to our health are inside. Indoor air quality should be our primary concern.
Not surprisingly, many of these risks have accompanied the technical advances in our lives. Improved and energy-efficient building techniques have created airtight housing. These buildings retain and re-circulate indoor air, making the filtering process of your home very important.
Many common particles in the air of your home are now implicated in conditions including allergies and chronic respiratory irritation. A wide range of less severe but potentially debilitating health problems, including headaches, chronic fatigue, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, and even snoring can often be attributed to poor indoor air quality.
The Invisible Threat
Allergic diseases are among the major causes of illness and disability in the United States, affecting as many as 40 to 50 million Americans.
Many invisible particles in the air are a primary threat to health. They evade the body's filtering mechanisms and penetrate deep into lung tissue, carrying toxic substances which are absorbed in the body. These harmful particles, which include dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, and pollen, provoke allergic reactions in many people.
Experts estimate that 35 million Americans suffer from upper respiratory symptoms that are allergic reactions just to airborne pollen. Hay fever and asthma are the most common of these reactions.
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