Air quality is getting serious in many places of the world now, nine out of ten people in the world are breathing polluted air, and the number of deaths caused by air pollution reaches 7 million people every year. The effects of bad air quality are very serious, it is responsible for up to a third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease. What are the causes of air pollution? And how does air quality affect our health?
Bad air quality source actually exists everywhere. No matter where you live, there is no escape. Microscopic pollutants in the air penetrate our body's defenses and penetrate deep into our respiratory and circulatory systems, damaging our lungs, heart and brain. When people breathe, they need to inhale air, the oxygen in the alveoli is taken in, and then the high concentration of carbon dioxide and other toxic and harmful gases is discharged.
Studies have found that human lungs can discharge more than 20 kinds of toxic substances, of which more than 10 kinds contain volatile poisons. Therefore, people often feel dizzy and have difficulty breathing in crowded and poorly ventilated rooms. In severe cases, symptoms such as chest tightness, sweating, and nausea may occur. Since it’s very dangerous to our health, we need to find out how it form, and what to do with it. There are actually 5 reasons cause air pollution at home, and each of them can be easily neglected to us.
5 Causes of Air Pollution
- Indoor heating or combustion: mainly refers to the combustion of various fuels, cooking oil and food heating products. Mainly sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons and suspended particulate matter, etc.
- Indoor activities: a large number of metabolic wastes discharged by the human body, droplets ejected during conversations, and indoor smoking. Smoking is an important source of harmful substances, and smoke contains at least 3800 components.
- Decoration pollution: decoration pollution caused by the decoration of new houses, including air pollution, light pollution, and various waste pollution. Therefore, we can choose samples when choosing furniture, because the samples are placed outside for a long time, and the harmful gases are effectively volatilized.
- Outdoor pollutants: The main pollutants are harmful gases such as sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and smoke entering the room to cause air pollution.
- Human metabolism: The average CO2 exhaled by an adult per hour is about 22.6 liters, accompanied by ammonia, dimethylamine, diethylamine, ethanol, methanol, butane, butene, and dibutene , acetic acid, acetone, nitrogen oxides, CO, H2S, phenol, benzene, toluene, CS2, etc. Among them, most of them are metabolites in the body, and the other part is the pollutants that are still exhaled in their original form after inhalation.
These are the main 5 causes of air pollution at home, after knowing the formation of them, you might want to know the effects and how to deal with them, and the effects of them can be described by the following graphs.
How Does Air Quality Affect Our Health? 2 Lists to Show You
Health Effects of Air Pollution - PM2.5
PM2.5 refers to particles with an equivalent diameter of fewer than 2.5 microns, which can be suspended in the air for a long time, carry toxic substances, and enter the human body. There are three relevant indicators that need to be understood here.
PM50: Particles larger than 50 microns in diameter are blocked by nose hair. And those between 10 and 50 will be absorbed by the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity and become boogers. PM50 can reach the nasal cavity.
PM10: PM10 has a small diameter so it can reach the mouth. It's not too harmful.
PM2.5: PM2.5 has a smaller diameter and can reach your lungs and enter the alveoli. The harmful substances it carries can even enter your internal circulation. The harm can be imagined. It is not an exaggeration to be called the number one killer of health.
To put it simply, PM2.5 is the main pollution that affect our life, and that is one of the factors how does air quality affect our health the effects of air pollution on human health like PM2.5 will increase the mortality rate and the probability of disease. For example, asthma and other respiratory diseases, conjunctivitis, high blood pressure, carcinogenicity, and stunted development of newborns. Taking the United States as an example, the PM 2.5 in the United States is generally below 20 (the figure below will illustrate and give a comparison with my country), and the number of people who die due to PM2.5 in a year is more than 60,000.
Health Effects of Volatile Organic Compounds
VOCs health effects mainly have two aspects: one is that its harmful components directly affect human health, and the other is that VOCs will form PM 2.5 precursors, thereby indirectly affecting human health.
- VOCs will cause harm to the human body. For example, when decorating many rooms, we will smell a lot of strange smells. If the concentration is high, people will feel dizzy. In particular, some paints contain benzene, toluene, etc., which can seriously damage people's nerves. Staying in such an environment for a long time may cause cancer.
- VOCs will turn into ozone and PM2.5, which will cause smog, reduce the recognition of the environment and make the human body prone to respiratory diseases. For example, if the ozone concentration is high, it will damage human skin and affect people. The respiratory system, reduces the resistance of people's immune system.
Why is the Clean Air Act Important?
After all no matter how does air quality affect our health, you can always rely on an air purifier. To understand why is clean air important, we must first know what fresh air is. Anyone with a little knowledge of chemistry knows that standard air contains 78.8% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of helium, argon, and dust. Fresh air refers to air that contains more than 20% oxygen, has few impurities such as dust and microorganisms, and is not seriously polluted by toxic gases. Often in an environment with fresh air, you can inhale more oxygen.
Human beings consume a lot of energy every day, and this energies are all oxidized and decomposed by organic matter (sugar, fat, etc.) in the body. In addition, since tension and stress will consume a lot of oxygen storage in the body, a large amount of oxygen storage is needed. Muscle, fat, and protein in the human body can help store oxygen.
3 Solutions of Air Pollution
- Frequently open windows for ventilation
The easiest and cheapest way to improve indoor air quality is to regularly open windows for ventilation, except when outdoor air pollution is serious. For example, when the heating is turned on in winter and the air conditioner is turned on in summer, many people like to close the windows for a long time. This is actually not good for health. It is best to open the windows for about 3 hours to ventilate once, about 3 times a day, and ventilate every time. 15 to 20 minutes will do. After the window is opened, a large amount of fresh outdoor air can enter the room, which drives the indoor air circulation and improves the indoor air quality.
- Regular cleaning
Dander, dust mites, mold and other allergens will also deteriorate indoor air quality, so maintaining indoor hygiene is also very important to reduce indoor air pollution. Use an air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter, reduce the accumulation of pet dander, mold and dust in the home; use less carpet in the home as much as possible, hard surface floors are easier to clean than plush carpets, and can also reduce the accumulation of various allergens; regularly clean bedding and other bedding, as well as curtains, etc.
These items are also easy to attach to allergens; pay special attention to cleaning bathrooms, basements and other damp, dark places, where mold is prone to occur, and you can consider installing a dehumidifier in these places to reduce mold growth. P.S. Some cleaning products containing chlorine and ammonia usually contain volatile organic compounds (VOC), which may lead to worse indoor air quality. It is recommended that you choose products against VOC when purchasing.
- Use a HEPA Air Purifier
A HEPA filter in a smart air purifier is extremely powerful to clean air, it can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.
No matter PM 2.5 or VOCs that commonly occur at your home, an air purifier can filter them, and turn the bad air quality into the one in a forest.