How Safe is the Air you’re Breathing?

Poor air quality can lead to a number of health problems, both short term and long term, and can seriously impact your quality of life. Immediate indoor air pollution health symptoms may include: watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and upper respiratory congestion – of course these discomforts are only the start of it. Long term exposure to various different types of chemicals in the air can lead to extreme chronic health problems.


What is in the Air?

When a chemical is used outside, the fumes and byproducts of toxic chemicals are either absorbed into the ground or evaporate into the ozone. These reactions are not good for the environment and this issue is one that needs to be addressed globally. Products which are used inside your home don’t have any place to go except into your furniture, personal belongings, and worst of all, your body! Dangerous indoor chemicals frequently come from the materials the building was made from: plastic fibers used in carpeting, fumes from the paint on the walls, fire retardant chemicals in your furniture and home décor, and toxic cleaners. Some of these chemicals may make you feel bad right away while many of them take years to show symptoms of illness after exposure.

How to Make Inside Air Safer

The most dangerous air that you are breathing is the air you are breathing inside – for most people this means the air inside their home, place of employment, or place of learning. Improving the air your breathe is easiest at home; improving air quality at home can be as simple as opening the windows for as little as 15 minutes a day to circulate fresh air in and push out all of the fumes let off by objects in the home. Other at-home precautions to take are watching what chemicals you use to clean, avoiding furniture, shades, and bedding with toxic fire retardant chemicals, and taking steps to avoid growing mold in your home. Additionally, the EPA has extensive information about indoor air filtrations systems and their impact on your indoor air quality on their website.

Improving the quality of air in other environments might not be so easy. However, you have a right to high quality air at your place of employment or learning – it is part of a safe environment. Many times, the people in charge of the inside environment are willing to do their part to ensure indoor air safety, but only to a certain extent. Many employers and school officials are only willing to do what is legally required of them, and those legalities only cover immediate risks such as ventilation when someone could get sick right away. If you feel as though your indoor air at places such as your work environment may be less than good quality, it may be necessary for you to take control of the situation in order to protect your health. Even simple air circulation can help in the fight against poor air – open windows, bring in a fan, and set out a portable air filter if possible. If your employer is not allowing measures to be taken for proper ventilation, contact your local health department for assistance.

What steps are you taking to ensure the air that you breathe does not impact your health?


SimplyLili is a PhD student in Social Psychology and an avid blogger. Her main goal is to bring awareness to issues that warrant social responsibility and action. She is a self-proclaimed nerd and her 3 fave things are cheesecake, rainy days, and pugs. "Knowledge-Simply"

One thought on “How Safe is the Air you’re Breathing?

  • January 25, 2013 at 9:28 am

    The effects of poor indoor air quality include eye irritations, respiratory infections, sinus problems, headaches, asthma and allergies. A natural (non manufactured) paint additive has been developed. Air-ReNu, turns any newly painted wall surface, into a permanent and constant air, purification system no electricity or filters required. The Air-ReNu, technology permanently maintains healthy indoor air quality and removes offensive odors. Air-ReNu, is safe, effective and a permanent solution.


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