We tend to think of air pollution as something outside — smog, ozone, or haze hanging in the air, especially in summer. But the truth is, the air indoors can be more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home may be polluted by lead, formaldehyde, radon, or even volatile chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners. Children, people with asthma, and the elderly may be especially sensitive to indoor pollutants.
To improve indoor air quality, follow these simple steps:
1. Keep your home fresh
Chemicals and allergens can accumulate in household dust for decades. By using a vacuum with a HEPA filter you can reduce concentrations of lead in your home. You can also get rid of other toxins as well as allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. A HEPA filter ensures that dust and dirt won’t get blown back out in the exhaust. In high traffic areas, vacuum the same spot several times. Don’t forget walls and carpet edges, where dust accumulates. For best results, vacuum two or more times each week and wash out your filter regularly.
2. Keep a healthy level of humidity
Dust mites and mold love moisture. Keeping humidity around 30%-50% helps keep them and other allergens under control. A dehumidifier (and air conditioner during summer months) helps reduce moisture in indoor air and effectively controls allergens, Lang says. An air conditioner also reduces indoor pollen count — another plus for allergy-sufferers.
3. Make your home a no-smoking zone
Perhaps the most important aspect of indoor air pollution is secondhand cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals. For the smoker, this addiction causes cancer, breathing problems, heart attacks, and stroke. Secondhand smoke will also increase a child’s risk of developing ear and respiratory infections, asthma, cancer, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now starting to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from airplane engines, one more anti-pollution action after ground transportation and power plants. The EPA wants to derive authority from the Clean Air Act to control “air pollution that causes climate change and endangers public health and welfare,” but it is not a new rule alone. It is seeking help from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is quite disturbing because this organization is more or less run by the airline industry.
The transportation industry always complains at the beginning when there are new rules, claiming that they are cost too high. But after a while, we see more innovations than was present before. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids probably wouldn’t be developing at this rate if fuel economy standards weren’t on a fairly steep ramp over the coming years, and if emission regulations weren’t being tightened.
Right now, planes represent about 11% of emissions from the U.S. transportation sectors, but the industry is expected to continue growing. And while there’s a clear path for ground transportation to decarbonize, things are more difficult for planes, so it’s best to get regulated right now. One possible destination for the industry would be much more efficient planes that are powered by truly carbon-neutral advanced biofuels.
Remodelling can make an older home feel new again. But it’s at the same time filling the air with dangerous chemicals and other contaminants that put your family’s health at risk. That’s why it’s important to protect your home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) throughout the entire reconstruction process.
Demolition is generally the least pleasant and most dangerous step in reconstruction, at least in terms of IAQ. Dangerous pollutants are released by tearing, stripping and sanding paint. This is especially true for homes built before the late 1970s, when lead based paint and asbestos insulation were still commonly used in construction.
Solution: Seal off remodelling areas before you begin. Try to enter the room from the exterior only.
After the completion of demolition, the installation of new components comes. This process has its own IAQ issues. If materials such as stone, tile and wood are cut inside the home, this can create dust that triggers breathing problems, runny nose and watery eyes, especially in those with allergies.
Solution: Protect the indoor air from unnecessary contaminants. Ask your contractor to cut materials and tile outside so that most dust stays outside as well. Leave windows open at least a crack at all times until the fumes are gone.
The key is to plan ahead and pay attention to Indoor Air Quality at each critical stage of reconstruction. When the project is done, “fresh” your new home with a high-quality air purifier to reduce risks of leftover pollutants.
When you’re pregnant, there are many things you’ll pay extra caution. The food you eat or the quality of your sleep. However, there’s something important but is also inconspicuous that many pregnant women may well neglect. That’s the quality of the air you breathe for you and your baby.
Air quality is important for us, and it’s particularly critical for those who are pregnant. Studies done by School of Public Health in Columbia University, New York, have shown that kids who are exposed to the highest levels of air pollution before birth have a greater risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms than their less exposed peers.
Those harmful pollutants that are hazardous to the prenatal are the products of fossil fuel combustion, and are known to damage the developing nervous system. Traffic exhaust and residential fuel oil use are the main sources of the combustion.
In response, New York City has already reduced levels of such pollution by establishing anti-idling regulations for trucks and buses, and requiring the city buses to use cleaner fuels. Meanwhile, pregnant women who are concerned about the risks of pollution exposure have their own responsibility. Eating plenty of fresh produce can give good nutrition to offset the effects of pollutants.
On the other hand, while we cannot control the outdoor air we breathe, we still can make our indoor air clean. Find a trustworthy supplier and use qualify air filters in your home. After all, we don’t spend most of the time outside, right?
I am a frequent traveller and have been to many airports. Airport is the first impression of foreigners to a country. A clean and fresh airport can always give a nice start of the journey. For years, I could find myself enjoying different airports and sometimes found it even nicer to have an overnight sleep there than a local hostel. However, in recent years I witnessed some unpleasant changes.
Demand for air travel is now higher than ever, thanks to cheaper tickets and easier technology. Anyway, the growing demand has mainly led to two consequences: more flights (including those of delayed) and more passengers staying in the airports. These will in turn increase the level of air pollution at airports.
More airplanes mean more sources of pollution. And more people mean heavier ground traffic needed to support air operations: push-back trucks, passenger or staff buses, baggage load, catering vehicles, just to name a few. Most of these articles are powered by diesel engines and operate closely to the airports.
The logic here is simple: airport buildings are ventilated to provide breathing air for our comfort. Large amounts of external air are now drawn into the buildings and this air will be heavily polluted. As a result, I witnessed the overall degrading air quality in some airports.
Controlling passenger flow is not easy. The more effective solution is to equip the airport with highly efficient air filters that can control particular and molecule pollutants. Assess the extent of the problem and tackle it with respective types of air filters. Also find the airport with qualify filters that are satisfy European standards.
Airports are the first check-point of foreign guests, don’t disappoint them.