How To Improve Indoor Air Quality

Improve Indoor Air Quality

How To Improve Indoor Air Quality

So how is the air quality in your home?

What you can do:

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Canadians spend much of their time inside their homes. Good air quality is your home can help prevent breathing problems and other health concerns:

Second-hand smoke is especially dangerous to children because their lungs are still growing and developing. Second-hand smoke can even pass through a pregnant woman’s placenta. Infants and children exposed to second-hand some are more likely to suffer from Asthma and other Respiratory problems such as coughs, Pneumonia, Bronchitis and Croup, as well as Ear Infections. Babies who breathe in second-hand smoke have higher risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or crib death.

1. Avoid Second Hand Smoke. 

Make your home and car smoke-free by smoking outside, or not smoking at all. Second-hand smoke spreads from one room to another even if the door of the smoking area is closed. In addition, potentially harmful chemicals can cling to rugs, curtains, clothes, food, furniture, toys, and pretty much other materials and can remain in a room or car long after someone has smoked.

  • What are the health effects?

Second-hand smoke hurts everyone and contains the same 4,000+ chemicals that are inhaled by a smoker. At least 50 of the chemicals found in second-hand smoke are known to cause cancer. these chemicals contribute directly to diseases like Asthma, Heart Disease and Emphysema – for smokers and non-smokers alike.

  • How do I know if I have a problem?

If anyone is smoking in your car or home, you and your family are being exposed to second-hand smoke.

What can I do?

Protect your family from the health effects of second-hand some by making your home and car 100% smoke-free.

  • No level of ventilation will eliminate the harmful effect of second-hand smoke. Opening a car or room window may cause the smoke to be blown directly back inside.
  • Air fresheners only do not reduce the harm in any way. Even air filters (air purifiers)cannot remove all of the cancer-causing agents.

Health Canada advised against using air purifiers that intentionally release ozone to clean the air. Ozone is a gas that can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs and is itself a major air pollutant known to cause cancer in the long term.

2. Keep Carbon Monoxide out of your home

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a harmful gas that has no colour, smell or taste. CO forms whenever you burn fuel such as propane, natural gas, gasoline, oil, coal and wood. It is also contained in second-hand smoke. If Furnaces, Fireplaces, Gas Stoves, or Water Heaters are improperly installed, or if they malfunction, they can release CO into your home.
  • What are the health effects?
CO can cause health problems before people even notice that it is present.
When you breath in CO, it reduces your body’s ability to carry oxygen in the blood. Even at low levels of exposure, CO can cause headaches and make you feel tired. The health effects at higher levels can be much serious and can even lead to death.
  • How do I know if I have a problem?
Maintenance is the key!
 – There is no substitute for good maintenance of fuel-burning appliances because CO detectors may be faulty without you noticing it, or depending on the CO detector it may not detect low levels of Carbon Monoxide leaks.
 – Make sure appliances such as Furnaces, Fireplaces, Gas Stoves and Water Heaters are well maintained and inspected by a professional licensed gas technician at least once a year.

3. Test your home for radon

Radon is a gas that produced naturally by breakdown of uranium in the ground and can get into your home undetected. It is odourless, tasteless and undetectable with naked eyes. If left undetected, radon can build up to high levels and over time become health risk.
  • What are the health effects?
Radon exposure increases your risk of developing lung cancer. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. The risk of cancer depends on the level of radon in your home.
  • How do I know if I have a problem?
The ONLY way to know if you have radon in your home is to test for it. It is a simple inexpensive test that you can do that yourself. Health Canada recommends using a long-term test devise for a minimum of three months, and the best time to start your test is between September and April when windows are closed. You can get the radon test devises from some home improvement retailers.
What can I do?
If the radon level is above the Canadian guideline of 200 Becquerel / Meter3, you need to fix it. The higher the radon level in your home, the sooner it needs to be fixed.
Here are some ways to reduce the level of radon:
 – Increase the ventilation to allow an exchange of air.
 – Seal the cracks and openings in the foundation walls and floors and around pipes and drains.
 – Renovate existing basement floors, particularly earth floors.
Radon test devises can be purchased on-line or performed by a trained service provider.
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