Kickoff a Healthy Holiday Season with our Air Quality Checklist

Before hosting your next party this holiday season, check your home for these hazardous indoor air pollutants that could be lurking in your air.

Woman setting up Thanksgiving holiday season dinner party

 

The average American spends about 90% or the majority of their lives indoors, consuming 11,000 liters of air per day. With every breath, we inhale the good, the bad and the ugly – making air quality and purification an essential, crucial step for safeguarding health and well-being.

Poor air quality can lead to respiratory health concerns and symptoms including, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis, heart failure, respiratory infection and reduced or impaired lung function. Individuals with asthma, heart disease and COPD, are most affected by poor air quality, making healthy air quality an essential to better quality of life.

 

Preventing Hazardous Airborne Carcinogen and Pollution Exposure

Due to colder temperatures, families spend a lot of time indoors during the holiday season

From spring to fall, families enjoy time outdoors, yet frigid temperatures across the country during the winter months force many to spend more time indoors.

With it being Lung Cancer Awareness Month and considering our previous article on lung health with the Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center, we’re sharing some common household carcinogens and airborne pollutants to be aware of this holiday season. Read on to learn what the necessary steps are to safeguarding your home from these hazardous contaminants.

 

Asbestos 

If you have an older home, check it for asbestos before hosting a party this holiday season.

This natural, silicate mineral was used in abundance while building homes throughout the 1930s-1980s. Its fire-resistant properties and ease of use as an additive to a number of building materials such as tiling, flooring, insulation, piping, plaster, asphalt, cements, adhesives, caulking, roofing, shingles and siding made it common in homes.

Asbestos is generally safe when encapsulated, protected or when undisturbed or undamaged in any way. Once asbestos fibers become airborne, inhaled or ingested however, the fibers can become lodged into the fragile lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart, developing mesothelioma with limited life expectancy and poor survival rate. Asbestos also leads to asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural effusion, pleural plaque, pneumothorax, asbestos warts and more. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.

What Can You Do?

Have your home tested for asbestos or asbestos-containing materials. Only remove asbestos with a trained and certified asbestos abatement company to ensure safe removal process for healthy indoor air quality free of asbestos.

 

Radon

Window seat decorated for holiday season

This odorless, colorless gas is developed from the natural breakdown or radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soils and some cases, well water. Considering how radon is developed, primary routes of exposure to humans are by way of inhalation and ingestion.

Radon gas is often produced and found in highest concentrations, in homes that have dirt basement floors. The gas is emitted through the ground, through loose foundation cracks or ventilation systems, which enter the indoor air of homes, nationwide. The EPA estimates that one of fifteen homes in the United States have elevated radon levels of 4 pCi/L or more. Prolonged inhalation of such radon levels can lead to lung cancer, known as the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

What Can You Do?

Radon is an environmental health problem nationwide, and the only way to know your home’s radon levels is to have your home tested as recommended by the US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association and the National Safety Council. Install a radon scanner and consult with a certified radon mitigation service to ensure what is best for your home.

 

Particulate Matter

Look out for indoor air pollutants this holiday season like chemicals and smoke from candles

Indoor air pollution, and in particular, particulate matter, can be any mixture of hazardous solid and liquid particles suspended in the air, consisting of both organic and inorganic particles like dust, pollen, soot, smoke and liquid droplets.

Although size of particles vary greatly by size, composition and origin, it’s important to note that when particulate matter is inhaled, it can have adverse effects on the body. Sensitive groups, like people with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children, are most likely to face respiratory health concerns including eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing, chest tightening, shortness of breath, reduced lung function, irregular heartbeat, asthma attacks, heart attaches, premature death in people with heart or lung disease, and more.

Particulate matter can be a holiday season nuisance! Holiday decorations like artificial trees accumulate dust during storage, irritating those with dust allergies. Decorative candles look nice, but often times release dangerous chemicals such as benzene and toluene. These airborne chemicals can cause damage to the brain, lungs and central nervous system, as well as cause developmental problems.

What Can You Do?

Instead of using these chemical-releasing candles to make your home smell more festive, consider a Venta Airwasher. The Venta Airwasher acts as an aromatherapy diffuser, air purifier and humidifier in one. Venta offers six unique fragrances, all specially formulated to work with the Airwasher unit. For the holiday season, Winter Dream is our pick, with its combination of cinnamon and citrus for a warming effect.

The Venta Airwasher is the perfect holiday season product
Image Source: Munchkins and Moms

A Venta Airwasher traps airborne pollutants like dust from holiday decorations, bacteria and pollen down to 0.3 microns, all without the use of filters. Using Venta’s patented Cold Evaporation technology, the Airwasher traps small particulate matter in the basin, only releasing pure, humidified air back into your room. Simultaneously humidifying, purifying and diffusing essential oils into your indoor air with one product? It’s the holiday season companion you never know you needed.

 

Keep your family and party guests safe this holiday season with our indoor air quality checklist. To learn more about environmental health concerns, carcinogens, air quality or our Venta products, check out our other blog posts and follow along on Facebook.