Maintaining indoor air quality has become a complicated challenge in today’s world.
In fact, in most cases we are our own worst enemy because many of the products we use are actually introducing toxins into the air we breathe!
Every year, more Canadians contract lung disease, heart disease and other serious diseases due to exposure to airborne carcinogens.
In past decades, you might have thought you could get away from the toxins by going inside and shutting the door. But recent reports indicate our indoor air is now up to five times more toxic than our outdoor air here in Canada.
And if you are like most Canadians, you probably spend 90 to 99 percent of your typical day inside, breathing indoor air.
This means the real fight to purify your air is going to take place indoors.
In this post, meet nine of the most concerning airborne toxins and learn how to remove them from your indoor air supply.
Nine Airborne Toxins Polluting Your Indoor Air
The Canadian Lung Association cites these nine airborne toxins as among the most concerning for Canadian families today.
1. Tobacco & Vaping Smoke
Aside from radon gas (see number nine here), tobacco and vaping smoke are the leading cause of lung cancer in Canada today. Non-smoking family members who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at particular risk.
If you must smoke or vape, always do so outdoors.
2. Wood Smoke
Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces are still quite popular throughout Canada, especially during the extreme cold of the winter season.
Wildfires also emit copious amounts of volatile organic compounds into the air that then gets pulled inside your home.
3. Mould and Mildew
Mould and mildew spores are attracted to any damp, dark, cool indoor spaces, such as basements, laundry rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, garages and air ducts.
High humidity, whether seasonal or year-round, attracts a variety of concerning airborne toxins, including mould and mildew spores.
Humidity can also provide a fertile breeding ground for viral matter, bacteria and other fungal matter.
5. Household Chemicals
Paint, paint thinners, glues and adhesives, craft supplies and other household chemicals are another potent source of indoor air toxins.
6. Household Cleaners
Many commercial cleaning products used in homes and workplaces today are so toxic they can irritate your skin, eyes or respiratory system on contact.
We have written an entire blog post featuring great natural cleaning product recipes you can make at home.
Pesticides, insecticides and herbicides easily enter your home air and water supply, causing a host of secondary health symptoms including respiratory distress, skin rashes, headaches, allergies and asthma attacks.
8. Scented Products
Many scented products may smell fantastic, but their scent comes from a potent recipe of chemicals rather than natural flower essences or essential oils.
Air fresheners, candles and scented personal care products are particular culprits here.
9. Radon Gas
Radon gas has recently been named as the number one leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the number two cause of lung cancer in smokers.
Radon gas is a naturally occurring gas that is emitted as uranium breaks down in the water, rocks and soil. It is found all over Canada but is more concentrated in certain areas.
Once radon gets into your home, it tends to get trapped inside, where you are exposed repeatedly to its damaging effects.
How to Take Action to Clean Up Your Indoor Air
So now you know about the most common airborne toxins, chemicals and poisons that are polluting the air you breathe every day.
What action can you take to clean up your indoor air so your family doesn’t suffer the health consequences of exposure?
Here is what we recommend as a comprehensive and permanent solution to air toxicity at home and at work.
Schedule a professional air duct cleaning service
Airborne toxins don’t just stay in your indoor air supply for a day or two. Once trapped inside your home, they continue to circulate through your HVAC system, into your ducts and then back out into your home.
Some of these toxins get trapped inside your ducts, where small amounts are continually pushed back out as forced air whooshes through your ducts with each cooling or heating cycle.
Over time, this buildup becomes visible and obstructive. If you have no record of having had your air ducts professionally cleaned and sanitized in the last five to 10 years, this is the first step toward cleaning up your indoor air.
Install a heat recovery ventilator
Ventilation, or lack thereof, is a significant problem with most new construction buildings today. Without adequate ventilation, the air indoors becomes stale and heavy with toxins.
A heat recovery ventilator is like a set of mechanical lungs for your house that continually refreshes and oxygenates your air while balancing humidity levels and removing toxins.
Add a HEPA air filtration system
HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air. This air filtration system was first developed during World War II to protect scientists from airborne radioactive particulates.
The HEPA air filter is still considered the gold standard in air filtration for hospitals and laboratories today, readily stopping airborne toxins as small as 1/100th the size of a single human hair and removing them permanently from your indoor air supply.
Install an ultraviolet air purification system
Ultraviolet light is the most potent air purification agent available to us today. Ultraviolet band-C is the most potent of the three UV light bands.
An ultraviolet light purification system uses UV-C light to change the molecular structure of airborne gaseous and liquid particles, rendering them unable to cause harm and permanently removing them from your indoor air supply.
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