You’re diligently disinfecting surfaces, sanitizing smartphones, and washing hands to keep COVID-19 out of your home. But there may be one thing you’re forgetting to clean: the air. While researchers initially believed contaminated surfaces were behind most COVID-19 transmissions, it’s since come to light that the virus can go airborne. That makes maintaining indoor air quality one of the most important things families can do to prevent transmission at home.
INDOOR AIR POLLUTION: WHAT’S BEHIND IT?
- Finishes, furnishings, and cleaning products emit toxic volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
- Candles, air fresheners, and other scented products also produce VOCs.
- Our beloved pets shed dander, a common allergen, and track other allergens indoors.
- Mold and mildew also contribute to air pollution at home.
- Homes with problematic ventilation are more likely to have poor air quality.
WHY POOR AIR IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH
- Most COVID-19 transmission happens indoors, particularly in spaces with poor ventilation.
- Indoor air pollution also causes health effects ranging from headaches and dizziness to asthma and cancer.
- Children and babies are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution.
- Warning signs of respiratory illness include difficulty breathing, chest pain, or a stubborn cough.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR CLEANER AIR AT HOME
- Reduce VOCs with low- or no-VOC products for painting, varnishing, and cleaning.
- Avoid scented products, plastics, mothballs, and other common VOC sources with simple swaps.
- Lower humidity with good ventilation, vent fans, and dehumidifiers.
- Freshen indoor air by opening windows and making your own all-natural air fresheners.
- Air purifiers are a must for families with allergies or asthma and anyone concerned about COVID-19.
When the world outside seems crazy, it’s important that you can breathe easy at home. Make sure you’re taking the right steps to keep your indoor air clean, so your family stays healthy through the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.