Is The Air In Your Home Making You Sick?
The UK government has published for consultation its new Clean Air Strategy that sets out plans to tackle all sources of air pollution. This is part of a wider focus which acknowledges that air pollution is the top environmental risk to human health in the UK, and the fourth greatest threat to public health.
The consultation will inform the final Clean Air Strategy and detailed National Air Pollution Control Programme, to be published March 2019.
Until now, the public debate about air pollution has been focused on outdoor sources. The importance of raising awareness of the dangers of indoor air pollution is something we wanted to share. As the leading manufacturer of dehumidifier in the UK we want to offer advice and guidance on how to manage and control exposure to indoor air pollution.
What Air Quality Means
Clean air is a basic requirement of life for humans, animals, plants and the environment. As such, human health, animals, plants and the environment are threatened when pollution in the air reach high concentrations. Indoor air pollution both increase personal exposure and contribute to our overall national emissions as most of these indoor emissions end up in the atmosphere. Considered a major public health risk, poor air quality can seriously affect quality of life and lead to severe health problems for humans.
Click here for more information about the health risks indoor air pollution pose.
Reduce Emissions At Home
While there is no sustainable cure for your air pollution there are small changes you can make today which will reduce your exposure to air pollution. These include:
1. Using A Dehumidifier
The most effective solution to improve indoor air pollution is controlling and eliminating the sources, increasing ventilation and installing air management device.
Living in a humid environment can affect the concentration of some indoor air pollutants. A dehumidifier reduces and maintains excess moisture in a home that allows pollutants to thrive and linger until treated while trapping airborne emissions, controlling and eliminating the sources of pollution.
2. Checking Radon Levels
Radon is a radioactive gas that cannot be seen, smelt or tasted.
The radon level in the air we breathe outside is low but can be higher inside buildings. To know if a building has a high level of radon is to have it tested. If the test indicates high levels, call a qualified radon specialist. In the meantime, Public Health England published a UK map of radon. You can see which areas are most vulnerable here.
3. Reducing How Much You Burn In Your Home
Combustion Pollutants are gasses or particles that come from burning materials.
In homes combustion pollutants more often than not come from fuel burning appliances like woodstoves and fireplaces. According to the Clean Air Strategy simple actions, like burning cleaner fuels and opening windows to ventilate the home can make a big difference.
4. Minimising Harmful Household Products
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gasses from certain solids or liquids found in the home.
Sources of VOCs found in the home:
- Air Fresheners
- Paints and Paint Stripers
- Tobacco Smoke
Opening windows in the home when doing any of the above will release pollutants from the home improving indoor air quality. Alternatively, using a dehumidifier would pull the polluted air into the dehumidifier where it will trap pollutants before releasing filtered air back into the home - windows should remain closed to ensure efficient operation.
What Can You Do?
Already do the above but want to help more? Friends of the Earth, an organisation dedicated to environmental issues in social, political and human right contexts, have launched a clean air campaign all about how to tackle air pollution, inside and outside the home. Find out how you can help where you live and across the country here.