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t Americans spend as much as 90% of their time indoors - in their homes, offices, factories,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], or schools - and indoor air quality is a growing major health and comfort concern. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pollution levels indoors may be two to five times higher than outdoor pollution levels, placing many people, particularly those with chronic respiratory problems, at risk on a constant basis.
The EPA and other government agencies are working with local governments and school districts,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], as well as commercial property owners, to address the issues involved in indoor air quality in public and commercial facilities. However more than half of a person's time is spent in the home where the homeowner is chiefly responsible to create and maintain a cleaner environment. Homeowners can take a variety of simple steps to protect their family's health by reducing air pollution indoors.
The biggest problem with indoor air pollution, according to the EPA, is radon, an invisible and odorless gas seeps into a home from the ground through cracks in the foundation or flooring. Everyone is advised to check for Radom because it is a known carcinogen. There are home radon test kits available at any hardware store and if levels of radon are found to be potentially dangerous, a professional radon eradication company can be contracted to take care of the issue. These companies will also perform extensive testing.
Another potential hazardous source of indoor air pollution is from carbon monoxide, again an odorless gas that can be emitted from improperly vented furnaces, wood-burning stoves, vehicle exhaust, electric generators and devices that use propane, like gas barbeque grills. Carbon monoxide can be very harmful, often even fatal. Indoor air quality experts recommend the installation of carbon monoxide detectors, similar to indoor smoke detectors; to find and fix the problem, residents should evacuate and call professional help as soon as the alarm sounds from being triggered by carbon monoxide.
Indoor air quality problems can also be caused by materials known collectively as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), essentially the chemicals found in paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, varnishes and waxes,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment, moth repellents, air fresheners, and dry-cleaned clothing. VOCs evaporate into the air when these products are used or sometimes even when they are stored. Great care should be used when working indoors with these materials, like fully ventilating the work area, and they should be stored properly according to the label directions where there is a potential of contaminating indoor air.
However, the most persistent causes of indoor air quality in most homes can be addressed with a regular cleaning regime. The buildup of dust, including dust mites and other particles, as well as mold arising from mildew and unchecked moisture in the home are both troublesome to asthma suffers, people with other chronic respiratory health issues, any occasionally, as levels increase, to anyone.
Experts advise that regular dusting, sweeping and vacuuming are essential in maintaining indoor air quality. Keep in mind that dust also tends to collect in fabric, as well, so regular vacuuming should include using a vacuum's attachments on upholstered sofas, chairs and drapery. People often only dust the visible surfaces in a home, but cleaning professionals advise that dust collecting on the tops of windows and trim and other less noticeable surfaces can easily be disturbed by heat and air conditioning blowers, as well as open windows, so thorough dusting is recommended. Further, these experts note, keeping a vacuum sweeper clean and changing the collection bag or chamber often helps greatly in keeping dust levels down.
A great deal of dust also collects in the heating and air conditioning duct work, and cleaning experts also advise hiring a professional cleaning serv
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