How To Improve Air Quality for Health


This year’s fire season has brought devastation and even death throughout the region. Even those not affected by the flames have seen and felt the impact of smoke, ash and air borne pollution.

The World Health Organization states that air pollution is a major environmental threat to health. According to the WHO, lowering air pollution corresponds to lowered risks for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as cancer and other diseases.

Ironically, often the air quality inside our homes is worse than the air outside. Sources of pollution can be carried in on our shoes, or through the doors and windows, but also arrive from dust mites, pet dander, formaldehyde, mold, and chemicals from a vast array of household products.

Here are some tips on how to improve the air quality in your home:

Open the windows on a fresh day and allow the breeze to clear the air.
Keep window screens cleaned of dust and grime seasonally.
Change the air filter for your home regularly.
Open the window and use a fan when cooking at the stove.
Use floor mats at the entrances to your home to clean shoes.
Keep your floors clean with vacuums, sweeping, and damp mopping to remove excess dust.
Keep home humidity between 30% and 50% to discourage mold and dust mites from thriving.
If you live close to a freeway, or during times of high pollen or fire pollution, consider the use of a portable air filter.
Banish smoking from indoors, or better yet banish the habit entirely. Secondhand smoke is especially deadly.

With a little extra care, most people can avoid problems with air pollution, but persons with respiratory diseases, asthma or the very young or elderly may need to practice extra caution.
--Andrea Winchester
Sources: Household Air Pollution and Health, World Health Organization
Breathe Easy: Five Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality by WebMD