Fix health problems and allergies to put yourself at ease! - Part 3

Do you suffer from wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and a persistent cough?

People with severe respiratory health problems like asthma, experience the horrors of feeling suffocated.

This terrifying sensation triggered involuntarily by pollen, dust, tobacco, smoke or animal fur is caused by severe inflammation in their lungs.

Man with a worried gesture.

Health problems can arise due to the air quality in your home

According to the World Health Organization, about 44% of all asthma causes are due to a harmful indoor environment.

Airborne pollutants can come from:

  • Pesticides
  • Household chemicals
  • Fabrics – carpeting chemicals
  • Aerosols sprays
  • Drains and toilets
  • Pet dander
  • Chlorine gases from the shower
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Air conditioning and heating systems
  • Dust mites and more!

These air contaminants are particles, liquids and gases in the air that have toxic chemical properties and therefore affect our health.

But where do these contaminants come from?

If you are elderly or are chronically ill or have young children, you probably stay indoors for longer periods of time making you more susceptible to the effects of indoor air contaminants.

There are many sources of indoor air contamination such as:

  • Combustion sources like gas, kerosene and tobacco
  • Building materials and furnishings
  • Asbestos-containing insulation, damp carpets and fabrics, cabinetry with certain pressed wood products
  • Household cleaning products and maintenance chemicals
  • Central heating and cooling systems
  • Outdoor air pollution coming in from the exterior such as radon, pesticides, smog.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, all these contaminants cause all sorts of health problems such as eye, nose throat and lung irritations, asthma and allergy symptoms, sneezing and wheezing, colds and flu, headaches and fatigue.

Girl on a couch with puppy.Health problems may arise in your children from upholstery made from sub-par materials.

So, even at work we should watch out!

We are all different and we react differently to bad indoor air quality. However, no one is immune to the hazards of indoor air pollution.

North Jersey news article about mold.When school starts it is not uncommon to watch these stories in the news (North Jersey, September 11, 2018)

Do you know how is the air quality in your home?

Air contaminants and its associated health problems affect us in different ways. For example, during pregnancy, air contaminants have been associated with reduced birth weight and premature birth.
For children, exposure to air contaminants affects their lung function that leads to airway inflammation and acute respiratory diseases, like asthma.

In adults, air contaminants are linked to cardio-respiratory disease.

We all face varying degrees of risk as we go about our day-to-day lives.

Smoke from a lit cigarette.

However, indoor air contamination is a risk we can do something about

Not all people are affected with the same symptoms or to the same extent.

Some are more sensitive than others while some people may be exposed to more contaminants than others. People may experience symptoms earlier than others.

The health problems and disease from poor indoor air quality stems from the sources listed above and are exacerbated by the stagnation of air inside our homes.

PBS news article about wildfires in California affecting air quality.The effect of days and weeks exposed to these irritants might be felt in the coming years (PBS, August 9, 2018)

It’s the lack of air flow and proper ventilation that further exposes us to disease

Discover what health problems might be more pronounced in your home.

Indoor air quality is different in every house, let’s look at some of the nitty gritty to start approaching these health problems one by one.

If you live in New Jersey we'll be able to take a closer look at air quality in your home, if interested, contact me here.

Part 4 - Air contaminants and their impact on allergies

Back to Breathe

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World Health Organization, The cost of a polluted environment,
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, A guide to indoor air quality,
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, Indoor air quality,

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