If you think that air pollution only happens outside, you will be surprised that the air inside can be more polluted than the air outside. We can find potential air pollution sources in every room in your home, even in your home office.
What are the causes of indoor air quality problems?
There are a variety of factors that deteriorate indoor air quality that include:
- Smoke – Second-hand cigarette is probably the main cause of smoke in indoor areas, but there are also many sources such as smoke from fireplaces and stoves. Long-term exposure to smoke may cause lung cancer, emphysema, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOC) – VOC’s are toxic gases emitted by certain products such as paints, thinners, glues, adhesives, some building materials and even office items like printers and photocopiers. Long-term exposure to VOC’s may trigger dizziness, headache, migraine, nausea, asthma, and certain types of cancers.
- Mold – One of the common allergens, mold typically grows in damp, dark areas where there is limited exposure to sunlight. Molds can cause asthma and a variety of allergic reactions.
- Carbon monoxide – Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless but very toxic gas. Carbon monoxide is dangerous since it cannot be smelled, and long-term exposure to this can even lead to death. Installing a carbon monoxide detector is highly recommended.
- Asbestos – Asbestos is one of the naturally occurring silicate minerals which is typically used as a building material. It is a common feature among older structures — once widely used, asbestos has become health menace. Inhaling asbestos particles for long periods can cause asthma, a variety of respiratory diseases and lung cancer (particularly mesothelioma). Still, asbestos continues to be used in construction.
Improving indoor air quality
You should do everything in your power to make sure that the air around you is healthy. But don’t worry, there are easy ways you improve the indoor air quality of your home office.
Open up the windows. Remove stale air and pollutants from your home office by allowing fresh air to circulate the room. Opening the windows will allow fresh oxygen to enter your home office, and it will immediately improve the indoor air quality. Do not let bad weather deviate you from your path to fresh air. Even during the winter, you can keep windows open for 15 minutes a day, right? Keeping the windows open for 15 minutes won’t significantly affect the heat, but you will immediately notice an improvement in the indoor air quality.
Use houseplants. Did you know that houseplants are perfect tool to purify the air? That has been proven in the scientific study conducted by Associated Landscape Contractors of America and even NASA. They were trying to discover the best way to purify the air in space facilities, and they have found out that the houseplants are the perfect solution. If they are good enough for space stations, then they are good enough for our home offices, don’t you agree? So, go to a nearest garden center and pick some of the plants from their list. Choose between English ivy, spider plant, bamboo palm, Chinese evergreen, snake plant, or some other plants that will help improve the indoor air quality of your home office and decorate it in the process. The best thing about these specific plants is that in addition to filtering the air, they also absorb various air toxins, such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
Get rid of toxic chemicals. Most of us bring chemicals in our home, and we are not even aware of it. Chemical substances can be found in cleaning products like detergents, or most air fresheners. Those things will reduce indoor air quality. Luckily, there is an easy method to reduce the influence these products will have on your indoor air quality. Just make some easy changes in your cleaning process. Choose eco-friendly products and you will be breathing healthier air in no time. To get even better results, you should vacuum your home office at least once a week.