Taking Care of Our Air This Spring

The start of Spring has to be the happiest time of the year. The days are longer, brighter, and warmer. We find ourselves opening the windows, turning the fans on, and keeping the doors open. We’re outside more, we work on the house and we get ready for summer. Everyone seems to have smiles on their faces. It’s crazy to think that although we’ve been pining to get outdoors with the entire family, we still spend up to 90% of our time each day indoors. Indoor air quality is most closely known as the air we breathe in our homes, our workplaces, schools and any other buildings we are in on a day- to- day basis. As Air Quality Awareness Week approaches (April 30-May 4), it’s important to highlight why keeping our indoor air clean is just as important as keeping our ambient air pure . Here are three simple ways to take care of your indoor air quality.

1. Dust

While warm weather can be exciting for many,  it also brings about allergies and potential asthma attacks for others. But there are a few simple ways to reduce the amount of dust inside your house! Your ceiling fans have sat idle for the past six months, so before turning them on it’s a great idea to remove all of the dust and dirt that has collected up there. It’s also important to remember that carpets are often full of dirt and dust as well.

Although they can be expensive, hardwood floors are a much healthier option because you can make sweeping a part of your weekly routine and reduce the amount of toxic dust lying around. If you have area rugs, take advantage of a warm day and completely remove them from the room, shaking out the dust that a typical run of the vacuum misses. Don’t forget about your couches and bedding while you’re at it. They don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing! If you’re among the 44% of American households with dogs or the 35% percent of households with cats, be sure to take extra care of your furry family member’s hair by brushing and bathing them. If you notice your children having an allergic reaction to their fur, try to keep the pets off all bedding and upholstered furniture.

2. Mold

Mold is a little more tricky to take care of. It can naturally grow in damp places, such as leaky sinks, ceiling tiles, or vents with a ton of moisture. Dampness attracts mold and mildew, so it is recommended that you keep humidity levels as low as you can and no higher than 50% at all times throughout the entire house. If you start to notice a group of spots located by a damp area somewhere in your home, for example in poorly ventilated areas, kitchens and bathrooms, or places where you’ve previously flooded, chances are you do have mold. Since the effects of mold vary so greatly, it’s important to take care of the problem as soon as possible. Symptoms associated with mold exposure include stuffy nose, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, throat irritation and more.

3. Spring Renovations

If you’re thinking about redoing any room in your house, whether it’s your kitchen, living room ceiling or that awful vinyl flooring in the bathroom, stop and read this first! It’s important to know when the house was originally built and if asbestos or lead may be present. Asbestos is a very durable mineral and was a popular addition to building materials used from the 1930s to the1970s, before being more closely regulated. Airborne or ingested asbestos can lead to very serious health concerns such as peritoneal mesothelioma which occurs in the lining of the abdomen. If you’re concerned about asbestos in your home, hire a contractor and leave it to professionals to properly remove it.

By following these three easy steps, your house will look better and be healthier for everyone! Living in a clean environment is beneficial for every family because it promotes growth and wellness. Air Quality Awareness Week is run by the EPA and if you’re interested in learning more about this year’s campaign, you can take a look here.

About the Author

Emily Walsh is the Community Outreach Director for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Emily dedicates much of her time building cancer awareness through social media and blogging. She is passionate about helping cancer patients discover holistic complementary therapies that address the wellbeing of the mind, body and spirit.

About the MCA

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is an awareness and advocacy organization working to educate the public on the risk of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cancer. Learn more at: https://www.mesothelioma.com/

 

All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

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