13 Surprising (and Slightly Scary) Facts About Air Garbage
Keeping air garbage in check and maintaining healthy indoor air quality is important for your health. There are several small things that negatively affect your indoor air quality that you might not be thinking about. While these facts might be a little scary, the good news is that there are surprisingly easy things you can do to ensure your air quality is healthy!
Children are most vulnerable to air pollution side effects
While everyone should be aware of the potential side effects of air pollution, children are the most vulnerable to air pollution exposure due to their increased oxygen intake. This may have you re-thinking whether you should let your kids go out trick-or-treating but…
Indoor air pollution is higher than outdoor air pollution
According to the EPA, indoor air pollutant levels are two to five times higher than outdoor air pollutant levels. Cleaning your indoor air through ventilation and air purifiers while also avoiding going outdoors on particularly unhealthy air quality days will help lower your overall exposure to air pollution. Air quality is tricky to track, but we’ve set up an easy to use tool on our website so you can track your local air quality and pollen count.
Gas stoves release more than just well cooked food
Unfortunately, your gas stove could be causing more harm than good in your house. Gas ranges release nitrogen oxides into your home air, which are the same kind of gases that are released from cars. Natural ventilation, an exhaust fan, and carbon activated filters in air purifiers can help clear these gases out after cooking or baking your favorite meals or tasty treats.
Scented candles aren’t as relaxing as they seem
We light scented candles when we want to relax with our favorite scent, but many scented candles can release dangerous chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde into your air. You can swap out paraffin wax for soy or beeswax and regularly trim your candle’s wick to avoid soot buildup, or avoid lighting candles all together. Lighting that scented candle might not be the best idea, sorry to break it to you. It might be time to switch to flameless tea lights for indoor decor and those Jack-o’-lanterns!
Hairspray stays in the air not just your hair
Hairspray and other aerosol cans like spray on deodorant release pollutants and chemicals into your air just like burning scented candles. It’s best to run your bathroom’s ventilation fan while using these kinds of products. Whether you’re using hairspray everyday or for your Halloween costume, running your ventilation fan and air purifier will help keep those chemicals out of your indoor air.
Watch out for furniture off-gassing
New furniture should be something to celebrate. As you’re finally updating something in your home after you fall in love with that couch or coffee cart you’re not worrying about your indoor air. Your furniture or flooring can release chemicals into your home for years in a process called off-gassing. As we start hibernating indoors and re-decorating it’s important to be aware of off-gassing.
Fireplaces are cozy but the air pollutants aren’t
We begin to cozy up inside as cold weather approaches in the fall and winter. This means blankets, sweaters, and using that gas or wood burning fireplace. Both gas and wood burning fireplaces can release dangerous pollutants creating unhealthy air quality in your home. Gas fireplaces can release carbon monoxide into your home so it’s important to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly. Wood burning fireplaces create the same problem as burning scented candles (affecting your indoor air quality by introducing chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde) but on a larger scale.
House DIY projects can introduce various pollutants into your home
Some might be rethinking their home decor when moving indoors during the colder months. Maybe there’s a new house DIY project you want to start or finish up when you can’t work outside in the cold. DIY projects can be a great way to keep busy, but they can also introduce dust and chemicals into your home. Running an air purifier with a high efficiency air filter and a strong motor will help clean up dust created from your work before it can settle onto surfaces. A purifier with an activated carbon filter will help with any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) created from new paint or furniture.
Dust mites are lurking
There should be a horror movie about dust mites because they’re a scary enough premise on their own. Dust mites are tiny (invisible to the eye) insects that live in household dust. They contribute to mess and allergens that make your indoor air quality unhealthy. The good thing is that there are things you can do to get rid of dust mites including regularly washing bedding and using an air purifier to catch airborne dust.
We breathe each other’s air
We do breathe each other’s air making it important to protect and clean our air so we’re not constantly spreading airborne viruses. “The more we are conscious of the air, the more purposeful we will be about protecting it. In a typical shared indoor space, 1–5% of the air you breathe has recently been exhaled by someone else. Imagine if every meal you ate included food previously chewed by someone else.” This quote is shocking (and a little gross) but gets a great point across proving why we need to clean our indoor air.
You can mitigate the spread of airborne viruses with air purifiers
Many airborne viruses are spread through aerosolized droplets from our shared air. You can mitigate this spread of airborne viruses in indoor spaces by running an air purifier with a high efficiency air filter and a strong motor. The purifier will filter out particles floating around in your shared air before someone else can breathe them in. A purifier will protect everyone in any indoor space.
Air pollution doesn’t only affect humans
Animals and plants can be affected by air pollution as well. Air pollution can stunt plant growth or even kill plants. Some plants are able to help clean air pollution, but you would need several to see a noticeable difference, which could cause issues with mold and humidity in your home. Animals can experience health effects from air pollution exposure just like humans.
Some air purifiers create air garbage
Air purifiers are supposed to clean your air and improve your indoor air quality, not create new pollution. Unfortunately, some air purifiers do just that and actually introduce new air garbage into your home. Ozone generators are one of the biggest culprits of introducing pollutants into your indoor air. It's best to find an air purifier that uses proven safe and effective technology including HEPA filter based media and strong motors.