When asked to picture a polluted environment, most people think of an outdoor space, along the lines of a grey, crowded, heavily industrialised city, with traffic jams, factories and visible exhaust fumes. However, few are aware of the fact that not just the outdoor air can be contaminated by pollution and that the air inside their homes can be polluted as well. Worryingly, even with closed windows and doors, you still might be breathing in harmful bacteria. In fact, a recent investigation conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada has shown that the air inside many houses, apartments and commercial buildings contains a high amount of toxic pollutants, sometimes up to ten times higher that the outdoor air in heavily industrialised areas. Needless to say, such results have shocked authorities and homeowners alike, prompting them to pay more attention this obvious health hazard and seek the services of companies such as safeair.ca, who deal with processional air quality testing. But what can explain these shocking indoor pollution levels in the first place, and why are they so dangerous?
Toxic fumes – the main source of pollution
Even in countries like Canada, which have implemented numerous measures against pollution, the quality of outdoor air can leave much to be desired, especially in urban areas. Factories and cars give off carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other chemical gases and, since windows and doors aren’t air tight, these gases end up entering homes.
Other indoor air pollutants
Living in a less industrialised area sounds like the solution to all problems, but, unfortunately, toxic fumes from cars and factories aren’t the only source of pollution. There are several other causes that can be just as dangerous, such as mould infestations caused by humidity and traces of asbestos (these are very common in old buildings). Sometimes, bacteria can flourish in indoor spaces simply because homeowners do not clean the property often enough and don’t open the windows to let in the fresh air.
The risks of breathing in polluted air
Even the most active people spend a lot of time indoors and if the air in your home is contaminated, you are putting your health at risk. Continuous exposure to mould, fungi, bacteria and toxic gases can cause an array of diseases and symptoms. At first, the problem is almost unnoticeable and you might experience vague signs such as headaches and lack of concentration. If exposure persists, then these symptoms can get worse, to the point that they affect the mood or performance of people inside. In the worst cases, respiratory issues and allergies appear, especially in people with asthma and weakened immune systems.
When to call an air testing company
As always, prevention is better than treatment and the quality of indoor air should be tested on a regular basis to ensure that everyone breaths in fresh, safe air. Sadly, many people postpone air testing, thinking that it’s not that serious. If you start feeling sick when indoors and experience any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, call an air testing team immediately to avoid complications.