Ten Ways Humidity Affects Your Health More Than You Realize
An invisible element in your home wields a power you never thought would affect your health: Humidity. Make sure it doesn’t get the best of you!
Experimental studies and research on regulated humidity levels published in the Environmental Health Perspective Journal, found the number of respiratory infections to be lower in homes and working environments that had mid-range humidity percentages.
Here are 10 amazing ways health and humidity are linked:
- Optimal humidity is between 35 and 50 percent, which can help fight the flu virus according to researchers from Oregon State University. “The less water in the air, the longer the flu virus survives. And that leads to a greater chance of someone catching the bug.”
- Fungi cannot grow in humidity less than 60%, but anything above will give mold the perfect environment to thrive. These spores affect the health of mold sensitive people by contributing to nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, and sometimes, fever and shortness of breath.
- Humidity is especially important during winter months or places with cold climates as heating units rob the indoor air of moisture every time the heat turns on. Too little humidity results in bloody noses and can eventually lead to cracks and swelling of the lungs, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz.
- Mold is a year-round battle for those with allergies as spores thrive in high humidity indoors and out. Making sure indoor air is full of constant and regulated humidity is crucial for the allergy sufferer.
- Carpeting traps moisture in the air, making it a breeding ground for dust mites.
- According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Sick Building Syndrome” (SBS) is a condition where acute health problems are linked to individuals spending time in a building, yet no specific cause can be identified. Inadequate ventilation, biological contaminants like mold, bacteria, and viruses, and chemical contaminants are on the list of potential SBS causes.
- Low humidity is associated with the frequency of respiratory tract infections. (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
- An overabundance of humidity can set off asthma attacks.
- There are two types of humidity: relative and absolute. Atmospheric scientist, Jeffrey Shaman at Oregon State University observed in a study on low humidity and germs that, “Outbreaks of influenza typically occur in winter when low absolute humidity conditions strongly favor influenza survival and transmission.”
- Low humidity affects the skin setting off symptoms of dryness that include cracks, inflammation, and peeling. Eczema, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, flares up in a sudden drop of humidity.
Who knew there were so many links to health and humidification? While some of these facts are commonly known, others can be surprising and suggest a simple resolution to turn your home into a healthy surrounding. Being proactive about moisture control in your home can turn unnecessary and physically stressful conditions into a distant memory, paving the way for healthy expectations and a dependable environment for your family.