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Six Surprising Contributors to Your Poor Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air pollutants can have sort-term or long-term effects on health. The pollutants may cause symptoms as simple as a throat irritation or as damaging as a respiratory disease. In severe cases, indoor pollutants may cause pneumonia, heart disease and even cancer.

Of course, serious illnesses are a rare consequence of poor indoor air quality. Still, by purifying your air, you reduce allergens and create a more relaxing indoor environment.

You may be familiar with the usual contributors to poor indoor air quality. They include:

  • Dirty HVAC ducts
  • Chemical cleaning products
  • Airborne dust
  • Pet hair and skin

But these aren’t theonlycontributing factors to poor air quality. Whether you want to purify the air at work or at home, keep an eye out for these contaminators.

1. Scented Candles

As the seasons change, you may want your home to take on different aromas. A scented candle can turn your home into a springtime meadow, a bakery or a bed of roses with little effort. These wax products may be easy to purchase and use, but are they the best way to freshen up indoor air?

Unfortunately, most homeowners aren’t aware of the harmful chemicals hiding within that colourful wax. Some experts say that the chemicals in a candle are as potentially harmful assecond-hand smoke. As an alternative, you can turn to soy-based candles or beeswax candles. In fact, beeswax candles actually clean indoor air!

2. Perfumes or Cologne

From the safety of your enclosed office, it may seem like your building has no air quality problems. Take a walk around the building, and you may find an entirely different story.

As you mingle with co-workers, take notice of strong perfumes, colognes and laundry scents. These odours may be pleasing, but they can have harmful effects in high doses. After all, fragrance products are made of chemicals.

Unfortunately, the health and productivityof your employees depend on clean air. Try improving ventilation or installing an air purifier to remedy the problem.

3. Your New Couch

Your new piece of furniture may look beautiful in the front room, but is it affecting your air quality? If your couch is upholstered, odds are that its fabric and/or its foam cushions contain chemicals. Polyurethane foam and fire retardants are a few of the usual culprits.

Are you concerned about the effect of an upholstered piece of furniture on your air quality? If so, re-cover the furniture with any of the natural, untreated materials on the market. These fabrics include organic silk, cotton, hemp, linen and wool.

4. Clogged Drains

There’s no question about it: clogged drains are a problem. But did you know that the standing water in a clogged drain can affect your air quality? Before long, this water becomes contaminated with bacteria, fungi and mould.

What happens if those contaminants become airborne? Your building’s inhabitants run the risk of contracting a range of illnesses. That’s just one more reason to call a plumber and resolve the problem immediately!

5. Open Shelving

Any location that collects or produces dust contributes to poor indoor air quality. Open shelving may fit your design aesthetic, but it fits into the dust-collecting category. To reduce the build-up of dust, add doors to your cupboards and bookshelves. Additional benefits of closed shelving include greater stability and security.

6. Your Soil

Soil is outside, so how can it affect indoor air quality? Unfortunately, outdoor contaminants make their way indoors every day. The dirt may enter the building on a child's shoe or through an open window. Whatever the case, contaminants from your soil may include:

  • Radon gas
  • Pesticides
  • Leakage from underground fuel tanks
  • Landfill contaminants

Once indoors, the odours from these chemical pollutants circulate throughout the building where they can affect anyone inside—not just people close to the contaminant.

Any one of these contaminants could threaten the health of people at your home or workplace. That's why air quality professionals recommend installing a high quality air purifier to reduce the effects of these substances. When you choose an air purifier, be sure to shop from trusted brands. Purchasing a more efficient brand helps you reduce allergic reactions, sicknesses and other problems caused by impure air.