|Air pollution can be detrimental for|
children and people with asthma.
The associate professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston Medical Center says that air pollution outdoors is something individuals may not be able to influence at all and are at the mercy of regulations and standards imposed by the state – even though air pollution is one of the main factors in respiratory health and cardiovascular health.
Air pollution is especially important when it comes to vulnerable groups like children, people with asthma and the elderly.
Outdoor air needs to be regulated by laws like the Clean Air Act, Dr. Sandel says, and indoor air pollution can also be irritating for these vulnerable groups.
Main irritants include volatile organic compounds, which are organic chemicals emitted paints, carpets or pressed wallboard, especially when these products are new.
Breathe the best air indoors
While outdoor air pollution is often out of our control, many people can make significant improvements to their indoor air quality – without having to break the bank.
It starts with simple steps:
- Avoid introducing new pollutants as much as possible. This includes cleaning with natural cleaning agents such as vinegar and baking soda instead of harsh chemicals, ditching scented products and air fresheners, banning smoking indoors, etc.
- Ventilate the home. Maintain the HVAC system and change the filters regularly. If possible, open the windows regularly and use fans to move the air around.
- Watch the humidity level. Use the bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to reduce humidity levels and run a dehumidifier if needed. Better ventilation will also help.
- Use a portable air cleaner. Only a complete air purifier with many pounds of activated carbon plus HEPA and optional UV germicidal filtration will be able to remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants. Carbon adsorbs airborne chemicals, gases and odors; HEPA traps up to 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns in size and UV helps neutralize bacteria, viruses and mold. Find the right air purifier for your specific indoor air concerns by speaking to IAQ experts before making a decision.