10 reasons to take care of indoor air quality (IAQ)

Although invisible, indoor air quality isn't always as clean as we'd like to think. The trapped and stagnant air in our homes contains many pollutants which, combined with poor ventilation, are likely to irritate our respiratory system. Monitoring indoor air quality is essential if you want to protect your children and loved ones, which is why we are giving you 10 reasons to take care of your IAQ.

Our homes are 5 to 10 times more polluted than the outside air

Numerous studies have shown that indoor air pollution is much higher than outdoor pollution levels. There are many reasons for this. Among them we find: the use of perfumes and deodorant sprays, defective ventilation, cigarette smoke, volatile organic compounds, etc. Knowing that we spend more than 80% of our time locked in enclosed spaces, it is more than urgent to act to breathe healthy air at home.

We inhale and exhale an average of 22 times a day

It is precisely because our body requires a permanent supply of oxygen that we must pay great attention to indoor air quality that we breathe. Our media have already made us aware of the quality of outdoor air, however we very rarely hear about the risks associated with indoor air quality. The gestures to breathe healthy air at home are however simple: ventilate 10 minutes morning and evening, do not use spray products and for the most polluted environments: installing an air dehumidifier or an air purifier is often enough. to find an air of quality.

Your furniture pollutes the ambient air

The majority of furniture we buy contains chemicals used to retard the appearance of flames. The problem is that these retardants have a tendency to release VOCs into the air we inhale. These emanations of volatile organic compounds are explained in particular by a degradation of the materials used in the design of the furniture. It is therefore not without reason that we recommend airing the furniture several days before assembling it.

Air fresheners: poison in a bomb

Air fresheners that are supposed to protect us from bad odors are actually a real source of poison for the air we breathe. This is because these contain phthalates, harmful chemicals known to disrupt hormone function in babies and children. These chemicals are known to interfere with reproductive development and aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma. In addition, the terpenes released by deodorants interact with ozone to form formaldehyde and acetone at concentrations likely to reduce our respiratory capacities.

Candles: this trend that breaks the atmosphere

You may not have noticed, but your scented paraffin candles contain carcinogens such as benzene and toluene. We also note the presence of hydrocarbons called alkanes and alkenes that are found in the smoke emitted by the exhaust pipes of our cars. If you buy candles, favor varieties made from soy or beeswax and scented with pure essential oils.

Inkjet printers harm fertility

The ink in our home printers contains glymes. These industrial chemicals are known to be associated with developmental and reproductive disorders. Repeated and prolonged exposure to these compounds is not recommended, which is why we invite you to favor zero paper at work and at home.

The air in our schools is one of the worst

Our schools accommodate up to four times more students than an ordinary office building (for the same area). What is worrying is that our children breathe more air than an adult compared to their body mass. Recently, the French government advocated the installation of CO2 sensors in our schools in order to fight against Covid-19. This measure has proven to be beneficial because our cherubim now breathe quality air at school.

Pollution exacerbates asthma

5,8% of French people are asthmatic and the number of patients continues to increase each year. Among the 4 million asthmatics in France, nearly 6% have a severe form. INSERM also estimates that more than 900 people die each year from this disease in France.

The elderly are the most affected

The people most vulnerable to air pollution are the elderly. Indeed, the latter spend most of their days locked up, whether at home or in care centers adapted to their age. A Portuguese study also revealed that elderly patients in healthcare centers were exposed to high concentrations of fungi, which adversely affects their respiratory health.

Indoor Air Pollution Doesn't Just Affect Our Breathing Abilities

Household air pollutants are numerous. Among them are mold spores, pollen, radon, pet dander, formaldehyde, dust particles, etc. Most of these pollutants are considered fine or ultrafine particles. They easily cross our respiratory walls once inhaled and thus end up in the bloodstream. Some particles can even cross the blood-brain barrier. Headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, fatigue and even nausea are common symptoms. More serious problems such as asthma, lung infections or even lung cancer are linked to exposure to fine particles.

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Patrice Groult
I am Patrice Groult, journalist and creator of the 10-raisons.fr website. I have a long experience of the written press and the radio. I got into journalism in 2004 while living in New York. I have worked for several French media, notably Le Figaro and France Inter. In 2016, I decided to create my own website, 10-raisons.fr. The formula was innovative: articles in the form of “10 reasons for...”. I wanted to offer relevant and original content, which allows readers to better understand the world around them. Since then, 10-raisons.fr has been a great success. The site now has more than 3 million visitors per month, and its articles are shared by thousands of people on social networks. I strive to offer quality content and to demonstrate objectivity and impartiality in the treatment of the topics covered.