Jeff Flowers on January 21, 2015 1 Comment It is estimated that most people spend about 90% of their time indoors. This includes time spent at work, school, and of course, at home. Because of the amount of time we spend inside, the quality of the air we breathe should be a major concern for all of us. In fact, indoor air pollution is something every home in America struggles with, and dealing with the issue isn’t getting any easier. Let’s take a look at five scary facts about indoor air that you probably didn’t know about. 1. The EPA Ranks Indoor Air Pollution as a Top 5 Environmental Danger Over the past several years, the Environmental Protection Agency has consistently ranked indoor air pollution as one of the most concerning environmental dangers we all face daily. This is primarily because the sources of pollution are everywhere in our home. In fact, the EPA estimates that our indoor air has nearly 5x as much pollutants than outdoor air. Some homes may even have 100x more pollutants. The EPA has conducted several studies which prove that indoor air pollution is a problem for all types of homes regardless of where it is located. The most commonly discovered sources of indoor air pollution include combustion sources, building materials, chemical products, organic matter, and pollution which outdoor air pollution which makes its way indoors. 2. Secondhand Smoke Is One of the Top Indoor Air Pollutants Secondhand smoke is considered one of the worst indoor air pollutants around the world. It is known to contain more than 200 different types of poisons, including formaldehyde and carbon dioxide. It also includes at least 60 chemicals known to cause cancer. Here are some quick stats for you to think about. Every year in the United States, non smokers account for: 3,500 lung cancer deaths a year. 42,000 heart disease deaths a year. Over 1,000,000 children suffer from asthma-related problems. Accounts for over $10 billion in medical costs every year. Secondhand smoke has also been shown to severely affect infants, increasing their risk for pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections, ear infections, and spur the development of asthma. 3. Pediatric Asthma Rates Have Jumped 72% Studies have shown that the prevalence rate of pediatric asthma has increased from 40.1 to 69.1. This is a total increase of nearly 73 percent. Currently, asthma ranks as one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States and the leading serious chronic illness of children. Sadly, numerous indoor air pollutants have been directly tied to causing or increasing the risk of asthma developing in children. By purifying the air you breathe in your home, you will be creating a more favorable environment for your kids and your health. 4. Hundreds of Harmful Chemicals Are Released Every Day Small things most people do on a daily basis can quickly lead to a dramatic deterioration in indoor air quality. Hundreds of potentially harmful chemicals are admitted or released by household cleaning agents, personal care products, paint, and solvents used on a regular basis. These chemicals have been tied to causing dizziness, allergic reactions, skin irritation, cancer, and nausea. It’s wise to keep a close eye on the products you use on a daily basis, and consider the potential effects they may be having to the air you breathe. 5. The Quality of Indoor Air Can Be Up To 100x More Polluted Than Outside Air One of the most surprising statistics reported by the EPA is that the level of indoor air pollution can be anywhere from 2 to 5 times more polluted than the worst outside air. In dire circumstances, some homes have reported having air which is 100x more polluted than the worst outside air! Most people can recognize the health concerns associated with outdoor air pollution, however they rarely consider how poor their indoor air quality is. Not only are there numerous pollutants only released indoors, but outdoor air can find its way inside as well. Air Purifiers: The Easy Way to Limit Indoor Air Pollutants There are a variety of proactive steps someone can take to improve their indoor air quality. One of the simplest solutions is using an air purifier in your home. The best tool to add to your arsenal, is an air purifier that utilizes a HEPA air filter, activated carbon, and pre-filter. A HEPA filter is the only air purifier filter which must pass rigorous testing in order to be labeled “HEPA”. Many marketers advertise their products as HEPA-like. This means they may use the same essential materials as a HEPA filter; however their product cannot pass the rigorous tests set forth by the EPA. A HEPA air purifier can filter out up to 99.97 percent of all indoor air pollutants which are larger than .3 microns. This includes mold, pollen, dander, and most chemical pollutants. By combining a powerful HEPA filter with activated carbon and air purifier can be doubly effective. Activated carbon has been specially treated to maximize absorption. This allows it to absorb many of the gaseous indoor air pollutants which the HEPA filter is not designed to trap. Combining both of these technologies with a pre-filter is essential. A pre-filter is designed to trap the largest particulates which will limit the risk of clogging the HEPA filter.