Tuesday, May 22, 2018

7 Great Ways to Combat Air Pollution

Air is a vital resource to any living organism. An average human breathes in over 3000 gallons of air (oxygen) each day. Whilst the air contains essential elements, it still gets polluted. Polluting the air means introducing materials into the atmosphere which are harmful to any living organism. The air pollutants come in two categories: Air pollutants and Secondary air pollutants.

The primary pollutants come directly from the source while the secondary pollutants are compounds converted to harmful substances through chemical reactions. According to studies, close to 5 million people die every year as a direct result of air pollution and many of them from indoor air pollution.

Indoor air pollution is not a new phenomenon in our homes. Indoor air pollution comes from various sources such as modern furniture, fireplaces and stoves, paints and solvents, cleaning products, fumes from garages, mold, bacteria, and cigarette smoke. Fortunately, there are some great tricks you can implement in order to combat indoor air pollution. These are the seven best:

Identify the source of air pollution
When you identify the source, you will be in an excellent position to know how and which methods you can use to stop the source from spreading. The common causes of indoor air pollution include particulate matter, ground-level ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead. However, the primary source for most indoor air pollution is the ground-level ozone caused by the reaction of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.

Regularly opening the windows
This is an essential way to combat indoor air pollution, so long as the air outside is considered safe. In some cities, this may not be the case, but for most of us it is. By opening the windows daily, you will be allowing fresh air into the house which also improves the circulation of air as it will allow the fumes to quickly exit your home while the fresh air is quickly getting in.

Regularly cleaning air filters
Vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and air conditioners play a key role in maintaining the quality of air indoors. However, their filters may become weak due to the accumulation of particles of dust and other materials. Regular cleaning of the air filters will increase their effectiveness, which will in turn minimize contaminants in the air more efficiently.

Plant more plants
Some plants such as the English Ivy and Peace Lily are very instrumental in minimizing the amount of carbon monoxide in the air. These plants act the same way as the human liver. They can filter dangerous compounds and harmful chemicals from the air. They do this by absorbing the toxins and ‘digesting' them through their stems and roots and finally out through the soil. Other plants that you may consider are the bamboo palm and any of the Dracaena trees.

Use lead-free products and paints
Lead is one of the more dangerous air pollutants. Lead is in most of the products and paints we use at home. Even some of the toys your children play with can contain a dangerous amount of lead. Always check to ensure they are lead-free by calling the manufacturers of that specific product. It is also important to always check electric and gas appliances to ensure there are no leaks or shorts in the wiring. Also, avoid burning trash as it may contain materials made from lead. Check for the right way of disposing of waste or contact the relevant authorities that deal with garbage.

Get a humidifier or dehumidifier
If you are living in wet areas, you will also have to combat indoor air pollution. There is minimal dust in wet areas but a higher proportion of dust mites and molds as they tend to thrive in humid areas. In this scenario it is highly advisable to get a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will reduce the humidity levels, therefore, making your home less vulnerable to mildew, mold, and dust mites. On the other hand, if you are living in dry areas consider getting a humidifier. A humidifier will increase the amount of humidity in the air. By having a sufficient amount of moisture in the air, it will mean less opportunity for dust and other air pollutants to circulate and will significantly reduce nasal dryness and makes it easier to breathe in air which by now should be getting a lot cleaner.

Get an air purifier
The final touch to really take care of the problem once and for all, is to install an air purifier. The basic concept behind air purifiers is to remove most of the air pollutants that cause discomfort as possible. Air purifiers function by filtering out the harmful particles such as dust, pollen, and other contaminants from fumes and paints through several different filters before finally blowing out the clean filtered air out the other side. Good air purifiers will come with HEPA filters, that are capable of removing 99.9% of all airborne particles.

You need to pay close attention to the size of room each air purifier is capable of dealing with. If the rooms in your house are on the large side, you may have to get a fairly big purifier in order to handle the extra work load.

We're now starting to recognize that people living in different environments require different machines to fully purify the air. For example if you live in dry climate, in the past you would have required both an air purifier and a humidifier in order to fully clean the air in your home. As technology has advanced in the past few years, you can now buy all in one humidifier air purifiers that can clean the air at the same time as adding a bit of humidity to it – both actions significantly reducing the harmful elements contained in the air.

If you put all these steps into practice, the air inside your home will be cleaner than you ever imagined possible. There's a wide range of health benefits of clean air in your home, some of which you may never have considered.

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