Aug 05 10
When you’re outside seeing the smog covering a city or the dirty exhaust coming out of a tailpipe, there is no hiding the fact that the air you are breathing is unclean. Conversely, when inside a building or your home, we seem to have an expectation that the air is clean and we are safe from the harmful pollutants gathering outside. Unfortunately, this is hardly the truth.One common indoor pollutant that is extremely dangerous and even deadly is carbon monoxide. Without proper ventilation, such home items as a fireplace or heater can leak carbon monoxide into your home. Because you are in a closed space, this poisonous gas can easily enter your blood stream, causing serious harm.Pesticides used to treat insect problems around the house or that may have been used on fruit and vegetables pose serious risks. Chemicals used in pesticides can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and can result in long term effects such as kidney damage or cancer. Another common pollutant found in the house is Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). This is usually found in household chemicals and is released over time when stored within the house. VOCs can damage the liver and kidneys and can cause cancer in animals and humans.Perhaps the most concerning of indoor pollutants is radon. This element occurs naturally in the Earth and can enter through cracks or openings in areas of a home or building that directly touch the soil. According to the EPA, in the US, Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Newer building materials can often be used to prevent radon entering the home, but it is important to test your home, whether new or old, for Radon. Because this is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, there are no signs of its presence without testing for it. If you detect unsafe levels of Radon, there are ways to remove it from your home in order to prevent health problems.