Improve Indoor Air Quality

With an increase in cancer rates over the past 40 years, is it safe to assume that your indoor air quality is not a factor?





Over the past 40 years the incidence of cancer has increased by over 30%, particularly in adolescents and young adults. Can we ignore the fact that an increase in the use of VOC's in manufacturing processes of many household items is not somewhat partially to blame?

The air quality in the homes we live in contains a host of toxic VOC's from household items and fittings that we give little thought to. When buying a new home almost everything fitted in the home adds to the VOC emitted into the air. Take for example the new carpets or the painted walls, and even the built-in cupboards and cabinets. All these items contain a certain level of VOC's due to their synthethic content. Are these same things poisoning our children and should we be concerned?

After reading an article on by one of the editors, and where indoor air quality was monitored via a Dyson Pure Hot and Cool purifying fan heater and sent to a lab for testing. It brought to the fore that for South Africans an indoor air quality test is not something we can do unless we hire a professional company to do it for us.




The Dyson Pure Purifying Fan Heater automatically senses and reports particles and gases, in real time




The report received from the lab indicated that the bacteria count was unusually high and that levels of 2-ethylhexanol was at the high end of what was usual for indoor air quality in the home. The latter was of some concern since many common household items contain 2-ethylhexanol, items such as wall coatings, plastics, adhesives, etc.

While the results found were worrying, what is of even more concern is the fact that we cannot escape pollution in our own homes if we continue to bring in items and goods that contain VOCs.







Indoor air can be up to 5 times dirtier than outdoor air which means there can be more air pollution inside homes than outside, meaning that we are continuously exposed to unhealthy air.



Firstly, for most of us there is no way to dramatically improve indoor air quality since the majority of items in our homes off-gas VOC's. It would be impossible to only bring non-pollutant items indoors but you could be more aware of what items you bring home. Air pollutants are not only found in cleaning products but also air fresheners, candles, gas appliances and so much more.

There are, however, ways to improve indoor air quality and you may be surprised by the following:


• Air Circulation

You would think that opening windows for air circulation would go a long way towards improving indoor air quality, and it does, depending on where you live. Houses on a busy street or main road, next to an industrial area, or close to train or bus lines will more than likely increase indoor air pollution by admitting toxic gases into the home.



• Clean regularly

If you are concerned about your indoor air quality for you and your family you should invest in a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. What this does is to remove particulates found in indoor air, including pollen, mould, pet dander and other small particles found in household dust. The high-efficiency particulate air {HEPA} filter in this type of vacuum cleaner is recommended for anyone who suffers from allergies and respiratory problems or pet owners.








• Invest in an Air Purifier

With all the buzz surrounding VOC's in the home, air purifiers are now available that can help towards purifying indoor air quality. Some models offer up to 99.95% removal or air pollutants and allergens found in the home, from as small as 0.1 microns. But as with everything these days, ther top brands come at an expensive price.



Investing in an air purifier that has a HEPA filter can eliminate toxins in the air and reduce odours as well as removing pollutants and gaseaous substances and allergens. If you are interested in checking out the range of purifiers available locally, pop onto Google Search and enter "air purifiers" and go shopping online.






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