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Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Dangers Lurking in the Air We Breathe

The Air We Breathe

The air we breathe is a major factor to our overall health levels. Carcinogens and fumes from automotive cars and industrial factories, in addition to tons of other harmful gases are all around us. While they obviously decrease the overall oxygen levels we take in, these are dangerous molecules to inhale.



Indoor Air Toxins

According to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment, and in some cases, the air measurements indoors have been found to be 100 times more polluted. Outdoor pollutants aside, consider that since most of our time is spent indoors (offices, schools, homes, etc.) therefore most of our airborne toxins are inhaled while we’re inside. It’s important to your health to understand what’s in that air you breathe most often: pet dander, paint fumes, mildew, mold, smoke, and possibly billions of microorganisms.

Oxygen is the major component that the body utilizes to breakdown toxins and remove them from your body. The oxygen levels in the air we breathe is very low when polluted with carcinogens, toxic factory and auto exhaust fumes, and many other pollutants. Those of us in major metropolitan areas tend to have it worse than those in rural areas. Still, if you analyzed the air inside of a clean home in a rural zone, you would be shocked at what you found. We are suffocating.

“Dirty” air results in less than adequate oxygen levels for your body to perform its necessary tasks at an optimal level. That means less oxygen and more toxins in your bloodstream, and your colon, which is responsible for eliminating toxins from the body. There is very little chance that significant changes will be made (any time soon) in the way that factories burn off their waste, or changes are made in the way that car manufacturers design their exhaust systems. Since most of the toxic molecules we inhale are found inside anyway, we are going to focus the top 5 indoor toxins.

1. Tobacco Smoke – Today, most will not argue against the fact that cigarettes are bad in so many ways. It is well known that there is danger in smoking. We are now beginning to understand the dangers from secondhand smoke as well. Secondhand smoke is a genuine problem that requires uncomfortable ways of living to compensate for it. For many years, smoking has been strongly linked to lung cancer, in addition to being linked to colorectal cancer. Polyps form and become irritated and enlarged with secondhand smoke inhalation. The larger the polyp, generally the greater the risk of cancer metastasizing. Since people everywhere are starting to pay attention to the dangers of secondhand smoke, awareness has created ‘smoke free’ restaurants, homes, and workplaces. When tobacco smoke is inhaled, you are breathing in tar and other additives which are difficult to expel from your body. In the human body they can cause cancer, in children, there is the added danger of causing damage to their still-developing organs. Don’t ever let anyone smoke inside your home. Ever.

2. Paint Fumes – The dangers of lead and mercury added to paints have been assessed and addressed by eliminating them from paint formulas. Some paints on the market give off fumes called “Volatile Organic Compounds” which is not safe to inhale. Over time, the buildup of these VOC’s causes toxins to build up in the body which can lead to headaches, loss of coordination, liver damage and other disorders. Even outdoors, there is a danger to breathing in the fumes. The greater threat is indoors, which is why many paints come with the warning that you should use them only in well ventilated areas. An even better solution is to buy products that do not contain these compounds. The EPA has a long list of common products that emit these harmful fumes, such as, minerals, varnishes, enamels, lacquers, stains, latex, and water colors. It really would be an impossible task to eliminate the threat from all products that contain these volatile compounds. Make the effort to reduce them in your home by opting for VOC-Free Paints.

3. Micro-Organisms – According to the EPA, biological contaminants are “living organisms or their derivatives,” and they include dust mites, viruses, animal dander, mold, mildew, and bacteria. These organisms can build up in the body to toxic levels and can result in respiratory problems among other things. Children, elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to airborne biological contaminants.

4. Pet Dander – Simply put, pet dander is dead animal skin cells. Similar to of human dandruff, which falls off naturally as the animal’s skin becomes dry, these skin cells are found in concentrated amounts around the sleeping area of the animal. Once airborne, these particles can be swallowed or inhaled. It’s estimated that more than 30% of allergy sufferers are also pet owners.

5. Mold & Mildew – Mold is occurs naturally outdoors. It’s only natural that spores will get into your home from time to time just as a matter of moving in and out. When these spores enter and start to multiply, then they can create a danger of inhaling large quantities. Some threats from the spores of mold and mildew can include: respiratory ailments, headaches, nausea and diarrhea. Mold found in damper areas like bathrooms are generally referred to as mildew. These spores are unsightly and unclean. Even worse, when you go to scrub them away, you actually make them airborne, creating a greater risk of inhaling them.

Conclusion

Though most of us wish we breathe purely clean air all of the time, it just isn’t possible without a bubble around you. You can make substantial differences by adding air purification systems in your indoor spaces, beginning mainly with your home. They make air cleaning systems for your car that plug into the round cigarette lighter ports that are highly beneficial.

According to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment, and in some cases, the air measurements indoors have been found to be 100 times more polluted. This statement alone should be a wake up call to all of us. Get an air purification system for your home, and pay close attention to the details of the system. Most of the air systems you would buy at walmart or target are cheap models that really only do the job for about a week or so. After that it’s like a dirty vacuum bag until you buy a replacement filter. I’ve been through tons of air systems over the years, and have used the smallest models all the way up to the entire home systems. Overall the best value is in an affordable portable unit that you can move from room to room, like the Intelli-Pro Air Purifier that has a washable filter, multi-stage filtration system, and UV light sanitation.

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