Last year, Ontario made global news headlines when study results were published linking toxic indoor air to preterm deliveries and low birth weight.
More than 25,000 moms and infants participated in this study.
Exposure to airborne toxins delivered a 30 percent increased risk of low birth weight and a 20 percent increased risk of preterm delivery.
Here in Ontario, sulphur dioxide and other common toxins emitted by smelters, industrial plants and vehicle emissions are of particular concern. All can readily pass across the placenta to affect your unborn baby, as the research demonstrated.
What can you do to protect your family and your unborn child? Let’s find out!
Where Are the Toxins Coming From?
The study traced the majority (67 percent) of the sulphur dioxide and associated toxins to Ontario’s utility plants and smelters.
Twenty-five percent was traced to emissions from other industrial sources.
The remaining 8 percent was found to come from vehicle emissions.
What Can You Do to Limit Your Exposure?
No matter how much you want to safeguard the health of your unborn baby, it simply isn’t feasible to stay indoors all day.
However, this is what the research team recommends when air quality alerts are issued. Stay indoors with the windows closed and keep windows closed when travelling as well.
Of course, this still doesn’t address the fact that outside air can easily become inside air, entering through leaks and cracks, wafting in through open doors and entering through vents and ducts.
It also doesn’t even touch on recent findings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that indoor air in North America is already up to 5 times more toxic than outdoor air!
Here, it almost seems laughable that the recommendation is to stay indoors. You are going to need to do a lot more than that to make sure you and your family have safe air to breathe!
How to Clean Up Your Indoor Air ASAP
Fear can be motivating. But it can also be paralyzing. The truth is, we have a global air quality issue on our hands today and sometimes it seems as if it is only going to get worse.
What you need to know is that there is a lot you can do to clean and purify your own personal air supply, even though you can’t always control the choices others make that may affect you.
The steps we are about to outline here will clean and purify your indoor air starting the very day you do them.
1. Schedule your indoor air duct cleaning and sanitizing service
(If you don’t have a central or ducted HVAC system, go ahead and skip ahead to step 2 here.)
Indoor air duct cleaning and sanitizing has only started to become popular in the last few years. The main reason it wasn’t popular before now is that no one really knew this service existed!
Today, thanks to a number of new research studies like the one we mentioned in the introduction here, plus other information available online, more is now known about how to remove toxins from our indoor air. This is how indoor air duct cleaning became common knowledge.
A professional air duct service typically takes less than half a day. Our team comes in and sends a tiny camera up into your air ducts. Then we look at the view with you and decide how to proceed.
If we see dirty, clogged ducts (which is usually the case), we roll in our negative pressure industrial rotobrush vacuum and pull all the dirt out. Then we send in a sanitizer to remove any remaining dust mites, bacteria, mould and mildew.
You really want to have your ducts cleaned before you do any of the other steps. This way, trapped toxins cannot be reintroduced into your indoor air when your HVAC system cycles on.
2. Install a heat recovery ventilator
A heat recovery ventilator is another one of those so-called new appliances that aren’t really new. It is just now getting the publicity it deserves thanks to new airtight construction standards designed to help reduce energy costs.
All new Toronto-area construction is now required to include a heat recovery ventilator to recycle heat energy and ventilate indoor air so it never gets stale and toxic.
3. Install a HEPA air filtration system
HEPA filtration is still the gold standard for removing airborne solids and particulate matter. A HEPA filter can remove solids as small as 1/100th of a single human hair! But HEPA filters are so dense that most residential HVAC appliances cannot work with them.
Installing a standalone HEPA air filtration system is a handy workaround.
4. Install an ultraviolet air purification system
HEPA filtration will take care of airborne particles. But for gaseous and liquid particulates, you need UV air purification instead. UV air purifiers use ultraviolet band-C light to neutralize harmful toxins by changing their molecular structure.
Like a HEPA filtration system, a UV air purifier can be retrofitted to work with any existing HVAC system. Both systems can work easily together with your HVAC units to filter and purify your indoor air.
5. Schedule your HVAC preventative maintenance and tune-up
Finally, if you have been putting off having your heating and cooling system serviced, it is time to get a date on the books.
The number one reason to do this is simple safety: the longer your HVAC goes without surface, the higher the likelihood of incomplete combustion sending toxic emissions into your indoor air. As well, clogged air filters, dusty blower motors and dirty coils represent a serious indoor air quality and home fire risk.
Get in Touch
Are you ready to clean up your personal indoor air supply but aren’t sure where to start? We can help!
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.