indoor air pollution

Now We Have to Be Worried about Indoor Pollution Too?

The answer: Yes.

By: Noah Lehava

We’ve heard for decades that the outdoors are full of dangers: the sun, the air, the water….and that’s just the environmental stuff. That, compounded with office jobs, our addiction to Netflix and chill, and hibernation weather, means that we spend most of our time indoors. Recently there have been an astounding number of reports and studies that suggest the air we breathe indoors carries a great number of pollutants and toxins, too. Remember that concerning (read: terrifying) article we wrote about inhaling plastics? Well, according to this study, that’s just a fraction of it. The pollutants floating around in our living rooms is affecting our overall health and, yes, our skin too, so we asked our friend and leading dermatologist Dr. Lisa Airan to give us the 411 on the impact of contaminated air.

 

The Basics: What Is Air Pollution?

“Air pollution is the presence of pollutants, such as toxic chemicals or compounds, in the air that are harmful to not just the planet, but our overall health. While we most frequently think of them as being outdoors, there can be many different sources of indoor air pollution throughout the year, too. While some are more obvious, like dust buildup or pet hair, most are actually invisible to the human eye. Some other lesser-known sources of pollution are stoves, scented candles, furniture (the foam inside can release formaldehyde gas), and cleaning products.”

 

How Does Air Pollution Get Indoors?

“There are many ways air pollution can enter and accumulate in the home from a variety of sources. A major source is dust when it builds up over time on surfaces, pet hair on carpets, buildup of mold in damp environments, or pollen. Many of these can trigger allergic reactions. Additionally, fumes released from new furniture, cleaning solvents, deodorants, scented candles, and gasses from cooking are some of the most common indoor air pollutants. And those are just sources from inside the home. External pollutants can be drawn into the building every time windows or doors are opened—like carbon dioxide from cars—and as modern buildings are often built with better sealing in order to retain heat and block noise, these ultrafine and potentially harmful particles get trapped inside the home.”

 

So What Does It Do to Your Skin & Overall Health...

“When trapped indoors and not cleaned properly, air pollution can have a number of damaging side effects, many of which happen over time. For example, the skin’s retention of air pollutants is a contributing factor to major dermatological problems. Some air pollutants starve your skin of oxygen, which results in premature skin aging, causing wrinkles and the loss of skin’s elasticity. In more extreme cases, skin problems and irritations can develop due to prolonged exposure to several air pollutants over time and even cause a variety of cancer forms to develop after inhaling certain air contaminants. If allergens that you are sensitive to are trapped in your home, you may notice allergic symptoms like runny noses and watery eyes, but sometimes your skin can be impacted as well. Most commonly, allergic skin reactions come in the form of hives (red itchy bumps on the skin) or eczema (patches of dry, itchy skin). It’s so critical to find the best cleaning system to help maintain a healthy home and to protect your health against harmful air pollution and its damaging effects.”

 

How to Clean the Air

“Indoor air pollution is very hard to detect, so it’s important to have the right cleaning systems to maintain a healthy home environment. HEPA filters, whether in a vacuum or a purifier, are highly effective at capturing fine dust particles such as pollen, bacteria, mold, dust mite debris, and pet dander. The Dyson purifiers [like the Pure Hot + Cool Link], however, can take it even one step further and are engineered to remove both ultrafine particles and harmful volatile organic compounds present in the air due to the combination of a 360° fully-sealed HEPA filter and layers of activated carbon granules.”

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