Over the winter months we can safely say that the over whelming major of people keep their windows closed to keep out the bitter cold air that we experience in southern Ontario. This pursuit to keep ourselves warm can come at a severe detriment to health if the proper steps are not taken to identify air pollutants with in your home and ensure that the air quality for you and your family is ideal. Some common and not so common sources and types of air pollutants that can be found in your home include pesticides such as herbicides and insecticides, biologic irritants such as animal dander or mould, radon which is a gas produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks that occurs naturally in the environment, finally the deadly Carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless and odourless gas that you can’t see, taste or smell. Carbon monoxide is harmful because it will rapidly accumulate in the blood, depleting the ability of blood to carry oxygen. Air flow through a homes engineered venting system and humidity can also further affect the air quality.
So what to do? Well first off make sure that CO2 emitting sources are functioning properly, are vented, and you have the necessary functioning carbon monoxide detectors located through out your home. When it comes to Radon you would either have to perform test for it yourself or hire a profession at a low cost to perform it for you. With pesticides the best is to not use them at all. In terms of biologic irritants ensure proper moisture, maintain home appliances, clean surfaces, focus on dust control, and ensure that your homes ventilation system is function correctly. You can even add an air purifier to help out.
For more in depth information on your home’s air quality check out the Canadian lung associations website at www.lung.ca or Health Canada’s website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca