Health has been the justify of the world’s attention since the COVID-19 pandemic started. A lot of people’s efforts went into clean eating, exercising, and other lifestyle changes that improve their chances of overcoming the virus. There’s one important health concern, however, that often gets neglected, and that’s the air quality in your home.
Research revealed that the prevalence of microorganisms like fungi and bacteria within closed spaces threatens your respiratory health. It could create breathing problems, trigger asthma, and compromise your immune system altogether. With the way the COVID-19 virus behaves, you’ll especially want to pay attention to your respiratory system.
It might come as a surprise to you that there are structural decisions and purchases you make that lower your indoor air quality.
Carpets not only collect dust. Some also have dangerous chemicals that trigger cold-like symptoms for the house’s occupants upon installation. It gets worse if you have pets like dogs and cats as well as indoor flowers. All that animal hair and pollen can get lost within the intricatefibers of the carpet, only to be suspended in the air again whenever they’re disturbed.
If you think you’ve made a better decision with laminate or tiles, think again. They may not be as bad as carpets, but their embossing and grout lines are still great hiding places for allergens and dust. If you’re not meticulous about cleaning, they often remain stuck in those nooks and crevices for a long time.
One of your best options is hardwood floors. Compared to carpets, laminates, and tiles, it’s easier to keep them dust and allergen-free. Its surface makes it difficult for pollutants to get trapped on it, and you’re more likely to have a thoroughly cleaned floor without additional effort.
Replacing your entire flooring might be a bit costly, but not as much as the medical treatments you’ll need to recover from a respiratory problem. Besides, there are wood floor wholesale suppliers you can take advantage of for great options without the risk of breaking the bank.
The Cooking Pans
The kitchen is a place for nourishment, but it’s also a place of toxic emission if you’re not careful about the cooking pans you use. Those trendy non-stick pans and pots you bought at a low price a couple of years ago could be coated with a chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). You might be more familiar with its popular brand name, Teflon. When this coating melts at high temperatures, it releases toxic fumes that can cause polymer fume fever. This chemical is also connected to kidney and liver disease.
The good news is that Teflon pans manufactured after 2013 have fixed this issue, but you should still avoid heating your pan over 600 degrees to avoid the dangerous fumes. If your nonstick pans were bought before 2013, it’s better to replace them with new ones or to try alternatives like cast iron and ceramic.
Also, it’s worth checking the ventilation in your kitchen. Apart from your kitchen exhaust, you’ll want to open one or two windows to ensure that the air can circulate properly.
Read More: Getting Better Air Quality Indoors: From Cleaning to Air Purifiers
The Unnoticed Radon
Radon exposureis not unheard-of, particularly if there are gaps and fissures in your house’s foundation. A lot of times, this silent killer doesn’t get noticed until families feel the first signs of radon poisoning. Some of the common symptoms include chronic coughs, wheezing, chest pain, and weight loss. It’s also second to cigarette smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer.
Similar to carbon monoxide, radon is odorless, making it difficult to notice. You’ll have to get your house tested to see if you’re at risk of radon exposure.
This radioactive gas forms through the metals that break down in soil, rocks, and groundwater, and seeps up to your house through cracks in your house’s foundation. Make a regular inspection around your house and seal cracks at once. If there’s anything concerning that you can’t deal with yourself, contact qualified contractors to resolve the problem.
The Air Fresheners
Air freshenersare a source of comfort for people who are sensitiveto smell. It’s also a go-to solution for those whose houses suffer from odors due to poor ventilation. Your choice of brands, however, could be exposing you to phthalates.
Air fresheners release this harmful chemical in fumes that could not only be inhaled, but also absorbed by your skin. Regular exposure could lead to reproductive health problems and other serious hormonal concerns. The next time you feel like using an air freshener, buy an all-natural alternative or improve the ventilation in your house instead. You can also try natural herbs like basil, rosemary, and mint to keep the air smelling fresh.
Many people didn’t pay attention to their respiratory health until the pandemic started. Taking care of your lungs is not just about avoiding the virus. You have to create an environment conducive to a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle. Mind the air quality in your home and consider the changes you’ll make as necessary investments to a future that’s free of breathing problems.
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