Indoor Air Quality Never Matters More Than in the Winter Months!
Indoor air quality is about so much more than air freshener. Your health and that of your family can be significantly impacted all year round but most especially during winter, when so many of us tend to spend a lot more time indoors.
Poor indoor air quality can affect health: from eye, nose, and throat irritation to serious respiratory problems. Poor air quality has even been linked to heart disease and cancer.
When you hear that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average American spends 90% of his/her time indoors, it becomes very clear why indoor air quality can have such an impact on health.
So let’s explore this too-often ignored health risk, and take a look at 6 ways you can be pro-active in improving your air quality at both home and work.
Common Sources that Affect Air Quality
There are a variety of things that have an impact on indoor air quality. The good news is that you have control over many of them. One of the simplest things you can do is make sure every room in your home has adequate ventilation.
Poor or blocked ventilation is one of the main causes of pollutants accumulating indoors. Particularly in winter, concentrations of pollutants can accumulate quickly and affect air quality.
Other sources of poor indoor quality include:
- Gases from cooking and heating
- Chemical-laden scented candles
- Household cleaners
- Mold and mildew
- Black mold
- Radon gas
- Tobacco smoke
- Incense and air fresheners
It has been estimated by some experts that the typical home can contain as many as 63 synthetic chemicals. That equates to about 10 gallons of hazardous materials affecting the indoor air quality in a single house!
Fumes from pesticides, cleaners, paint, varnish, and air fresheners don’t simply stay in one place.
Even with your best efforts, they can affect the air quality all through your home. Many seemingly innocent household cleansers contain ethylene-based glycol ethers and terpenes. These toxins are among many that are linked to allergies and asthma.
Indoor Toxins and Their Effect on Health
The toxins that affect indoor air quality can have both long-term and short-term effects. In the short term, indoor pollutants can irritate and/or dry out the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, respiratory tract and throat. Mucous membranes are crucial “first responders” in the body’s health. They lubricate and protect many organs and tissues, and trap invading pathogens.
In the long run, toxins that degrade air quality can dizziness, chronic fatigue, fevers, forgetfulness, headaches, irritability, lethargy, and nausea. Certain toxins are also linked to many autoimmune diseases, as well as heart and respiratory conditions.
Cases of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) are on the rise.
One condition that is little known by the public but is continuing to grow throughout the U.S. and the globe is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). It’s a chronic condition attributed to low-level exposure to commonly used chemicals, frequently connected to poor indoor air quality.
MCS symptoms include:
- Burning eyes
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent cough
- Changes in one’s heart rhythm
- Chest pains
- Mental confusion
- Persistent congestion and other sinus problems
- Diarrhea, nausea, and/or gastro-intestinal distress
- Digestive trouble
- Chronic fatigue
- Regular headaches
- Itching and/or rashes
- Trouble with memory and/or concentration
- Mood swings
- Muscle/joint pain
- Light and/or noise sensitivity
- Sleep problems
- Frequent sneezing
- Frequent sore throat
How to Test Air Quality
There are many effective test kits for checking indoor air quality, including kits for radon gas, mold and allergens, and volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde. Most experts strongly recommend that every home have a carbon monoxide detector as well as a radon gas detector.
6 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality Naturally
- Search Out the Source and Eliminate It
Gas stoves: Your gas-using cooking appliances don’t just emit natural gas or propane. They also emit carbon monoxide, which can dangerously affect air quality. If you have a gas stove, have a professional come in to inspect it and perform a tune up to adjust it.
Synthetic scents: The National Academy of Sciences has reported that as much as 95% of the chemicals in synthetic-based air fresheners, dryer sheets, and candles are derivatives of crude oil. These derivatives can include carcinogens and other chemicals known to be toxic. Eliminating them can make a big difference in indoor air quality.
Clean air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers regularly: When these usually helpful appliances are dirty, they can negatively affect indoor air quality. Be sure to cleaning air ducts and replace furnace filters regularly.
Test for radon: Many states recommend having your home tested for radon every 5 years. You can also have a radon detector installed to help ensure indoor air quality remains safe. If the test or your detector finds elevated levels, have a professional come into the issue.
- Bring in the Fresh Air with Proper Ventilation
Ventilating in order to allow fresh air indoors is one of the best and most basic ways to improve the air quality of your home. Proper ventilation is like lungs for your house. It allows clean, fresh air to enter and dirty, dusty, contaminated air to escape.
Contrary to what most people think, the majority of heating and cooling systems don’t circulate fresh air. So open windows and doors whenever possible; even in winter, for a duration of time. Using exhaust fans, to pull stale air out and draw fresh air in, can also be very helpful.
- Clean and Freshen Your Home Naturally
Making your own natural cleaning products is simple, easy, and can dramatically improve indoor air quality. Even better, most natural products like baking soda and vinegar clean every bit as well as chemically-laden store-bought products. Likewise, natural air freshener is easy to make using water and essential oils.
Plus, many natural products like citrus, baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils have antiseptic qualities. And there one more bonus that goes beyond improving your home’s air quality. Making your own natural cleaning products and air fresheners saves you money. There is a wealth of helpful how-to’s online. Take advantage of them!
Still want your candles? You can have them.
If you simply can’t resist the soft glow of a scented candle, there are many on the market that are natural-based instead of petroleum based. Just make sure they are 100% percent beeswax candles that burn cotton wicks.
Washing your bedding frequently in very hot water is another helpful tip for reducing indoor allergens and pollutants. Try your best to buy organic cotton products. Cotton is one of the most sprayed crops in terms of pesticides so be warry!
- Read Those Beauty Product Labels!
Yes, even your beauty products can affect indoor air quality. Using hair sprays, mousses, and more can scatter harmful chemicals throughout your home. You can do a check on cosmetics and other beauty products at the Environmental Working Group’s Skindeep site. The site offers lists and compares the most and least toxin-laden cosmetics and skin-care products.
- Houseplants Help Improve Indoor Air Quality
When it comes to bringing the outdoors in for better home air quality, don’t stop withdrawing fresh air through doors and windows. Go green, quite literally, by adding living plants to your indoor space. Plants not only add beauty, they remove pollutants.
Among houseplants that are the best at improving indoor air quality are:
- Spider plants
- Jade plants
- Invest in an Air Purifier
The right air purifier can go a long way in improving air quality. But not all air purifiers are of the quality that you need. While air cleaners that use ionization are the best choice, even among these you need the right one. Be prepared to spend $200 and up to help ensure you have a quality purifier. They may be pricey, but they’re worth it.
Indoor pollutants come from many different household products, from furnishings and appliances to cleaners to beauty and grooming products to tobacco smoke.
It may seem like a daunting task when you first begin eliminating potential air quality risks, but the time you spend now can have a big health payoff for you and your family down the road.
About the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI)
The National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) is one the leading regenerative medicine clinics in the United States. NSI specializes in stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy. From diseases like diabetes and COPD to injuries of the spine and joints, NSI has helped patients recover from disease, heal from injury, and improve quality of life.
NSI strictly adheres to FDA guidelines and encourages the public to call with any questions regarding stem cell therapy and how it may pertain to any health concerns. Below, NSI offers tips on selecting the right stem cell clinic for you.
What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic
When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves, and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.
The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures on the planet which has drawn patients from all over the world as well as professional athletes and celebrities because they are recognized as the best in the world at stem cell therapy.
What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:
1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.
2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.
3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics
4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.
5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.
Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.
If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.
* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.