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Indoor Air Quality vs Outdoor Air Quality in Memphis


We spend more of our time indoors than we do outdoors. People spend as much as 90% of their lives inside. If you think about it, a majority of things that we do are inside – sleeping, eating, working, relaxing, etc. The quality of our indoor air is not as high as the quality of outdoor air, which can lead to many health related risks and issues for everyone.

When most people think about air that can be damaging to their health they think about contaminants in an outdoor environment, but these people should be considering the damaging effects that indoor air can have on ones health. Inside air can be polluted from any number of sources. Some sources of interior pollution can be paints, tobacco smoke, cooking, cleaning products, heating the home, and fumes from building materials, just to name a few.

There have been studies that have shown that the levels of indoor pollutants can be 25% – 62% higher than the levels of outdoor toxins. These interior impurity levels can even get up to one hundred times higher than the outdoor levels. This is an issue that everyone should concern themselves with because of the fact that we do spend so much more of our time indoors.

Since we are aware that our exposure to indoor air is much more hazardous than our exposure to that of the outdoors there are certain things that we can do and precautions that we can take in order to be able to reduce inside pollution.

Making sure that your home is properly ventilated can aid in the fight against harmful indoor impurities. Tasks such as cooking and cleaning can produce toxins in the home. If a home does not have proper ventilation, so that the irritants can escape, then the vapors and harmful bacteria from these tasks can end up in the air that you are breathing, in turn causing possible health problems.

Making sure that your home or office is clean can also ensure a healthier environment for breathing. Dust and mold carry a great deal of bacteria throughout your space. Properly dusting the space and keeping mold out of HVAC systems can help to reduce the risk of indoor air related health problems.

Any item that is in your home that produces smoke can be a huge factor in the quality of your indoor environment. As we all know smoking is a big health risk. Keeping your home or office free of tobacco smoke and other tobacco related products can also ensure a healthier living space. Fireplaces, wood stoves, furnaces, space heaters and candles also release smoke into the atmosphere and dangerous toxins such as lead, mercury, and contaminated fumes. Making sure that these are used in areas where they are able to circulate can help reduce the health risks that they may cause.

We are all aware of how dangerous outdoor pollutants can be, but it’s time we educate ourselves on the even more detrimental pollutants that can be found inside. Indoor air quality in the home and office is a key factor in your respiratory well being and your overall health.

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