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5 Deadly Impacts of Poor Indoor Air Quality You Need to Know

man unable to sleep due to insomnia

It is always wonderful to talk about the positive benefits of improving your indoor air quality.

After all, it just makes sense that you will feel better, look better, achieve more and enjoy life more when you are breathing clean air all day long.

Yet rewind just five to 10 years ago and there wasn’t such a clear line in the sand between outdoor and indoor air quality.

But today, as construction standards have tightened to reflect concerns about dwindling natural resources, our homes and workplaces are becoming too airtight for our own good!

This, combined with online-centric lifestyles that keep us indoors for up to 90 percent of the average day, has conspired to create a real-life unfolding indoor air quality emergency.

In this post, we hold up a magnifying glass to the impact of ever-worsening indoor air quality so you know what is wrong and what to do about it!

What Is Toxifying Your Indoor Air?

Every week, we conduct indoor air quality testing at homes and workplaces throughout the Hamilton and surrounding communities.

At the end of this silent 72-hour test, our customers receive a multi-page color printout detailing test results. Time and time again, what we discover when reviewing these results is that most toxins can be greatly reduced with some simple changes.

This is because the vast majority of the toxins inside your home are there because you brought them inside! This is never easy to hear, but it can be empowering because it tells you what to do to fix the issue.

Some of the most common culprits of indoor toxicity include commercial cleaning products, candles, air fresheners, personal care products, tobacco products, DIY craft supplies, new carpet and dry cleaning.

As well, every time you power up any kind of combustion-based appliance, whether it be a water heater or a fireplace, this releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your indoor air supply.

What can do is to help ensure each of your major appliances, from your HVAC unit to your clothes dryer, is routinely cleaned, inspected and serviced. This will reduce the incidence of incomplete combustion as well as excess dust and debris released into your air supply.

Two more potent indoor contaminants include carbon monoxide and radon. Both are odourless and colourless. Only a detection system can warn you before levels turn deadly.

5 Ways Your Indoor Air Can Turn Damaging… or Deadly

This is not a pleasant subject by any means. But if talking about it can improve health and save lives, sign us up!

1. Allergy and asthma attacks  

Current estimates suggest that one out of every six Canadians suffers from some type of allergy. Three-quarters of asthma sufferers also experience chronic issues with allergies. In fact, according to Asthma Canada, the presence of allergies is now recognized as a trigger for the onset of asthma in some.

What this all boils down to is that anything you can do to reduce the incidence of allergies—in other words, anything you can do to reduce allergens—can also minimize the likelihood of future asthma attacks.

2. Sustained systemic stress

All day, every day your immune system is literally barraged with potential invaders. From bacteria to fungi, viruses to allergens, there is a continual battle going on inside you at the microcosmic level. You may not be able to see it, but you sure can feel it as your stress levels climb!

Stress has been named one of the greatest health threats for Canadians today. While you might cite problems at school or work, troubles with family or money as your greatest source of stress, poor indoor air quality can create its own systemic stress.

A system under chronic stress releases cortisol, nicknamed the “silent killer” by researchers. Cortisol build-up has now been linked to increased risk of death from heart disease, breast cancer, depression, diabetes and other serious chronic health issues.

3. Inability to sleep (insomnia)

We all know how we feel after tossing and turning all night and not getting good sleep. But over the long-term, chronic poor sleep nightly can create conditions ripe for everything from stroke to dementia.

Researchers now know indoor air quality and sleep quality are linked. Cleaner indoor air can lead to better sleep.

4. Lung disease and lung cancer

Did you know that you may be at risk for developing lung cancer right now even if you don’t smoke—and even if no one in your home smokes?

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, radon exposure is currently the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers nationwide.

About 16 percent of new lung cancer cases annually are linked to radon in the home. Every year, 3,300 people die of radon-related lung cancer.

5. Home fire risk

Every year, more than 7,000 structures catch fire in Canada. Approximately 10 percent of these will cause injuries and 1 percent will lead to fatalities.

Year after year, one of the leading causes of home fires is cooking. Other combustion-based appliances, including clothes dryers, HVAC units and fireplaces, are similarly implicated in creating conditions ripe for a fire to start.

Clean Up Your Indoor Air Starting Today

Whether your major concern is home fire safety, getting a better night’s sleep, better overall health or fighting off seasonal allergies, we can help you clean up your indoor air starting today.

We proudly offer a full range of home and workplace indoor air quality aids, including HEPA filtration and ultraviolet purification systems, heat recovery ventilation, indoor air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, humidification options and indoor air quality testing.

Our sister company, Shipton’s Heating & Cooling, can assist with furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, boiler, fireplace and radiant heating inspection, repair and maintenance needs for residential and commercial systems.

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.

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