Cause Of Air Pollution
Cause Of Air Pollution You Might Be Suprised At What Cause Indoor Air Pollution

Cause Of Air Pollution You Might Be Suprised At What Cause Indoor Air Pollution

As part of its "Breathe the Difference" campaign to reduce indoor air pollution, the Division of Public Health is tackling 12 indoor air pollution sources known as the "Dirty Dozen." This month, the campaign focuses on new materials as dangerous sources of pollution in the home.

Just as a new automobile releases a plastic, "new car smell" for several months, carpets and other new materials can emit both odors and volatile organic compounds into your home. Such emissions can cause eye, nose, skin and throat irritation, headaches, fatigue and shortness of breath.

A variety of VOCs are released from latex backing on carpets and adhesives used to install carpets and linoleum. New furniture constructed with pressboard also can be a source of VOCs, which are released by the glue that holds the tiny wood flakes together.

To minimize your family's exposure to VOCs, follow these steps when installing new carpet:

  • Vacuum old carpet before it is removed to minimize dispersing pollutants;
  • Repair, clean and vacuum underflooring before installing new carpet;
  • Plan for the new carpet to rest unrolled in a well-ventilated area for at least 24 hours before installation;
  • Purchase low-emitting carpet, cushion and adhesives;
  • Open the windows during and after installation. Operate your ventilation system at maximum outdoor air for at least 48 to 72 hours after installation.
  • Schedule installation for a time when most family members will be out of the house. Consider leaving the premises during and immediately following installation.

Besides new material, the indoor air pollution "Dirty Dozen" consists of carbon monoxide gas; allergens from poor housekeeping; mold, mildew and mites from excess water; things from outside, such as radon; pests; some plants; asbestos; poorly maintained heating/cooling systems; lead-paint dust; and tobacco smoke.

For other news editorials, see; mold alergies.

Author Notes:

Ian DeBruyn contributes and publishes news editorial to  Learn more about air health and purifiers, plus allergies, molds and asthma and what to do about it.

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