Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Do We Keep Our Kids Safe from Pollution by Keeping Them Confined Indoors?

Staying indoors most of the time does not guarantee our protection from air pollution. People, particularly children, often suffer from asthma attacks despite staying within the confines of their homes. Some of us may not be aware of it but indoor pollution is also a threat to our health and that of our children’s. Some of the medically verified allergens we should be aware of are:

  • The secondhand smoke exhaled by a family member, as he or she exhales the cigarette, pipe, or cigar inside an enclosed room or car. 

  • The dust mites, who are too minute to be perceived by the human eye but can be sensed by our olfactory system; these allergens can be present in almost every home, in bedding materials, mattresses, stuffed toys, curtains, and upholstered furniture.

  • Molds that thrive on wet or damp areas often found in bathrooms, kitchen, and particularly the basement. The growth of mold spores is accounted during rainfalls followed by great humidity or in rooms where there are cold and dry conditions.

  • Cockroaches and other insects are carriers of allergens in the form of their droppings and secretions. We know for sure that these pests are capable of these things but it is something not totally visible to us. Hence, they merely evaporate in our surroundings and become part of the air that we breathe indoors. Eliminating them in our households as much and as often as possible lessens the composition of our indoor air pollution.

  • Our pet’s skin also sheds off flakes and fine particles of hair not to mention other secretions they may leave in their litter boxes or in the specific spots in our homes that they consider as their special places. We may have provided them with scratchboards or mattresses, but could take us a week or more before we could attend to. The accumulation however can rise in the air and becomes part of the air we breathe.

  • Nitrogen Dioxide, the emission that comes from our indoor fuel burning equipment especially if our homes do not have enough air vents. These are fuel burners such as gas stoves, gas space heaters, wood stoves, gas or oil furnaces, and unvented kerosene fueled heaters.

Our children are at risk from both indoor and outdoor pollutants. Statistics gathered from hospitals, place asthma as the number one cause for hospitalization among children while schools have recorded asthma as the leading reason for student absences.  

These are certain environmental issues that cause detrimental risks to our health. The call for change and order can get a good start right in our own homes.


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