We talk of air pollution everyday, but what we miss is WHERE is the air so polluted? Outside, because of the cars and industrial plants and the smoke they produce? Well, that’s toxic as well. But recent studies have shown that the air in our homes can be even more toxic. Not to worry though… unlike industrial pollution, this can be avoided more easily. Every day we hear of saving energy. That’s a good thing. That’s why we started building insulated homes for the heat to be retained and sealed doors and windows, for draft prevention. But what we don’t realize is that these technologies, besides being energy efficient and saving you a lot of money, can seriously damage your health. This is because once you wrap your home in a plastic bubble, harmful substances like CO2, tobacco smoke, freon, cleaning chemicals, are trapped in your living space. This means instead of leaking out with the heat, you breathe them in. This is where air conditioners come in handy for pulling out the polluted air, or air purifiers to help clean the inside air.
A few of the most dangerous substances in your home:
CO, or carbon monoxide, is the gas that comes from burning. For example furnaces, fireplaces, heaters and so on. Your car is a CO producer, too, so remember not to leave your car idling in the garage while you run back in for your wallet and leave the door open (you save up fuel also). The gas gets trapped in the house, an if there’s someone sleeping inside, they can even die. Be careful with your fuel-burning appliances.
Mold is a frequent problem in heavily insulated homes. It appears because the moisture is trapped inside and the walls do not “breathe”. Besides being dangerous for your health, it looks very ugly on your walls. You wouldn’t like that.
Radon. This was news for me, too. It is the product of decaying uranium in the soil beneath our homes and apparently it is sucked up by the walls of the basements or by the foundation. It is extremely harmful and it is recommended that we check th radon level in our homes every few years.
So, it is a good thing to save energy, but we must be careful not to do it in our healths’ disadvantage. It’s better to open a window now and then, even if we pay a few bucks extra for the heating.