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Indoor Air Quality: What's in Your Air?

Date Added: March 11, 2009 12:44:42 PM

Most of us have no idea what percentage of our time is spent indoors. Research indicates that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. AND the part of the population that does this most are groups such as young children, the elderly or the chronically ill!


In an article written by Jacqueline LaMuth from The Ohio State University Extension I found some interesting facts!

Take a look at some of the things in the air that these people breathe for too much of their day:

molds, house dust, and other biologicals that can reduce the quality of indoor air.

  1. Molds—play an important part in life cycles. They assist with the rotting of organic materials. Some molds cause illness and some, such as penicillin cure illness. Certain molds help to develop flavor in wines and cheeses, while others can cause them to spoil. Molds are persistent. They can live for years in a dormant state, then can be introduced to warmth, moisture, still air or a food source. The tiny spores of mold travel in the airwaves of your building, and settle in every crack and crevice. It's these small spores that we breathe in, and it makes some of us sick.

  2. House dust—is not blown in from the outdoors, but is produced from several sources:

a. The breakdown and release of plant and animal materials used in the home. They include such things as feathers, cotton, wool, jute, hemp and animal hairs. These come from clothing,carpets, rugs and furniture.

b. Disintegrating materials from mattresses, pillows and upholstered furniture

c. Human skin scales, animal dander, insect parts and fecal matter from cockroaches and dust mites, saliva and mold spores.

These thing that we breathe INSIDE can cause continuing health problems ranging from sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and sometimes chest pain. Headaches, dizziness and fatigue can also occur.

In another article from OSU Extension written by William F. Lyon tells of all the facts about dust mites:

One would need 10X magnification to see them(250-300 microns in length). They live off the skin flakes we give off (we give off 1/5th ounce every week). Their largest populations are found in mattresses as we spend 1/3 of our lives there. But they are also found in carpeting and upholstered furniture. It is estimated that 50-80% of cases of asthma are caused by dust mites.

One of the reasons people suffer more from inside air is the fact that we have insulated our homes and buildings, and have made them more air-tight!

Have you ever thought about these things? What is a person to do if they are suffering? Have you thought about the difference between air filtration and purification? Think about how many places all these allergens can land and hide from an air filter. Air that needs to be cleaned of these things would have to pass through an air filter. Can that happen if these particles have landed! Of course not. But with an air purifier, it sends out activated oxygen molecules that travel to every corner and land on every surface!

I wish I had known what my son and I were suffering from, because I could have taken care to get an air purifier years ago! We used to be allergic to our home, and now that I know the cause, I have been able to reduce allergens in my inside air. We no longer wake up with a stuffy nose and head! Now that I work mostly from home I am very comfortable because I am almost allergy-free!