Indoor Air Quality Could be Affecting Your Health

Indoor Air and Your Health

From A Guide to Indoor Air Quality 
by Consumer Product Safety Commission and Environmental Protection Agency

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Symptoms of some diseases, including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever, may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants.

The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on several factors. Age and preexisting medical conditions are two important influences. In other cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological pollutants after repeated exposures, and it appears that some people can become sensitized to chemical pollutants as well.

Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place the symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from the home and return when the person returns, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air or from the heating, cooling, or humidity conditions prevalent in the home.

Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable. More information on potential health effects from particular indoor air pollutants is provided in the section, “A Look at Source-Specific Controls.

While pollutants commonly found in indoor air are responsible for many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Further research is needed to better understand which health effects occur after exposure to the average pollutant concentrations found in homes and which occur from the higher concentrations that occur for short periods of time.

The health effects associated with some indoor air pollutants are summarized in the section “Reference Guide to Major Indoor Air Pollutants in the Home.”

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Health Effects of Drought

7 Surprising Health Effects of Drought

Jul 18, 2012 | 2:31 PM ET | MyHealthNewsDaily Staff

With more than half the U.S. currently in drought, concerns have mounted over the consequences of the arid climate on the country’s crop yields. But droughts have far reaching effects beyond the farm, including many effects on human health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Here are seven potential health concerns that occur with drought:

Bad air

Droughts can reduce air quality and compromise the health of people with certain conditions, according to the CDC. During a drought, dry soils and wildfires increase the amount of airborne particles, such as pollen and smoke.

These particles can irritate the airways and worsen chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, the CDC says. Poor air quality can also increase the risk of respiratory infections, such as bacterial pneumonia.

Valley fever

Drought increases the risk of people catching the fungal infection coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever, the CDC says. The disease is transmitted when spores in the soil become airborne and are inhaled. The condition causes a range of symptoms, including fever, chest pain, coughing, rash, and muscle aches, the CDC says.

The condition is more common among people living in the Southwest than other parts of the U.S., but it is relatively rare — one study reported that 0.04 percent of people in Maricopa County, Ariz., were infected in one year.

Germy hands

In a drought, people may feel the need to reduce hand washing and other hygiene practices to conserve water, the CDC says. This may increase the spread of infectious diseases, such as acute respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses.

“Conservation efforts should not hinder proper sanitation and hygiene,” the CDC says. People can install low-flow faucet aerators to reduce water use while still maintaining proper hygiene, the agency says.

Mental health effects

Those whose livelihood is directly tied to the water supply — including farmers, horticulturalists and nursery owners — may suffer adverse mental health effects during a drought, according to the CDC.

“Financial-related stress and worry can cause depression, anxiety, and a host of other mental and behavioral health conditions,” the CDC says. Studies have found an increased rate of suicide among people living in farming areas during droughts, the agency says.

Unhealthy eating

Reduced rainfall can limit the growing season for farmers, and further reduce crop yields by creating ideal conditions for insect infestations that damage crops. This can bring increases in food prices, or shortages of certain foods, potentially leading to malnutrition, the CDC says. Read the complete article at myhealthnewsdaily.com

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1625 W University Dr
TempeAZ 85281

(480) 377-0777
www.rainsoftofphoenix.com