air affects everyone and it often contains higher concentrations of
hazardous pollutants than outdoor air. However, the good news
is that everyone can reduce indoor air pollution. How can the
air inside our homes be so bad for us? Over the years,
buildings have been made more airtight to conserve energy. A
variety of methods and synthetic materials, many toxic, have been
employed to keep the hot or cold air from escaping from our homes:
installing storm windows and insulation, applying caulk and
weather-stripping to sealing cracks and other openings and heating
our homes with kerosene, wood, coal and natural gas.
Unfortunately, when we trap in hot or cool air, we also trap in
pollutants and sometimes generate more.
average, people spend about 90% of their time indoors.
Sixty-five percent of that is spent at home. To make matters
worse, those who are most susceptible to indoor pollution are the
ones who are home the most: children, pregnant women, and the
elderly. Children breathe in 50% more air per body pound of
weight than adults do. "EPA studies have found that
pollutants inside can be 2-15 times higher than the outdoors.
After some activities, indoor air pollution levels can be 100 times
higher than outside". Hence, the word "Sick
Building Syndrome" came about from the EPA.
are many sources of pollutants in the home including chemicals,
cleaning products, and pesticides. Less obvious pollutants are
caused by simple tasks such as cooking, bathing, cleaning and
heating the home. Fortunately, there are easy steps that
everyone can take to reduce the potential for indoor air pollution
and to improve the quality of the air they breathe.