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Apr-19-2017 11:49printcomments

Danger Where You Live

We are all breathing in a lot of air, but what is in that air? Is it helping or hindering your health?

Photo: ehstoday.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - If you listen to the EPA, you will have heard that the environment we have indoors is up to five times as toxic as that outdoors. In fact, in some instances, the measurements of air inside buildings has been as much as 100 times as polluted as outside air.

Now, consider that most of our time is spent inside, be it in our homes, offices, or schools. That means that most of the toxins we inhale are inside.

It is important for your health that you have an understanding of what you are breathing and that it can contain things like smoke, mold, mildew, paint fumes, pet dander, and the possibility of millions of microorganisms.


Pests are all around us. They are both outside and inside… whether you can see them or not. There are insects living in the walls of your home, in the ceilings, and in the basements.

These pests, be they insects or rodents, carry viruses and bacteria that can make you sick. That all goes without mentioning any allergies to them. You can make the environment in your home or office safer from these things with a good pest control service.

Heating and Cooling Systems

How many times have you caught a cold or a respiratory virus in the past year? It may be due to your heating and cooling system. When your air conditioner cools the air in your home, it can leave traces of moisture right in the ducts and this then becomes a veritable breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Vitamin D can help fight against being sick, but taking care of the bacteria and mold where it grows will be your best defense.

Combustion Gases

One of the top indoor environment hazards is combustion gases. These can include things like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide. Exposure to these gases can lead to you experiencing flu like symptoms, or lead to respiratory illnesses, or even cause death.

Don’t use any sort of combustion appliances inside. Make sure that you have an exhaust hood over any gas stove. Also, you need to make sure that your furnace and chimney(s) are cleaned every year.


Innocuous? Maybe not. Yes, they can keep moths from eating your clothes, but they are made with chemicals that can be harmful to us too. Some of them have the ingredient paradichlorobenzene, which has been linked to cancer in animals.

Others have naphthalene, which can lead to the destruction of red blood cells after prolonged exposure. If you have to use mothballs, make sure that you use them in a container that is sealed and in a place that is ventilated separately from the rest of the house.

Pressed Wood Products

This category includes things like insulation, fiberboard, and particle board. It is also prevalent in cheap wood furniture. The thing is, this stuff is made using a glue that can be hazardous to your health.

Some of them use something called urea – formaldehyde, which the EPA claims is the source of most indoor formaldehyde emissions. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause things like asthma attacks, difficulty breathing, burning of the throat and eyes, and watery eyes.


You know that smell that comes with new carpet? It is due to the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in it. These VOCs come from the dyes and glue used in the carpet. In high concentrations, this can be hazardous to your health.

If you are getting new carpet installed, you can make it easier and healthier for you and your family by asking the retailer to unroll the carpet a few days before the installation so that it can air out. You might also want to make sure to keep the newly carpeted area well ventilated so that the VOCs don’t build up.

Cleaning Products

Cleaning products and air fresheners are used all the time to sanitize and freshen our indoor environs. However, the University of California at Berkeley published a study that found that when these things are used in areas that are small or poorly ventilated, they can release levels of pollutants that are toxic.

This is because of the terpenes and ethylene based glycol ethers that are in them. Make sure when you are cleaning that the area is well ventilated.

Source: Salem-News.com Special Features Dept.


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