Slide 2 Today we are going to talk about general indoor air quality? Is the air in your home safe to breathe? We are going to talk about asthma and allergies and how indoor air quality can affect family members who have these conditions. We are going to talk about mold and how it can affect family’s health. We also are going to discuss carbon monoxide and how you can prevent this deadly killer in your home. We are going to learn about radon, and how you need to check to make sure this colorless, odorless gas isn’t in your home. We are going to talk about how sometime indoor air pollution can come from the activities that you do in your home, and other times it comes from the things you bring into your homes. Finally we are going to discuss action steps you can take to make sure you are living in a healthy home. Slide 3 Most people spend at least half of their lives inside their homes. Children often can spend 90% of their time indoors. For their size, children breathe up to twice as much air as adults. That means that children are at a greater risk for health problems that come from indoor air pollution. The air inside your home can be more harmful to your family’s health that the air outdoors. Another problem with indoor air quality is that it isn’t easy to tell if your home has poor air quality. You may notice bad smells, or see smoke, but you cannot see or smell other dangers like carbon monoxide or radon. Slide 4 If someone in your home has health problems or is ill, polluted indoor air can make them feel worse. For example, asthma is a lung disease that affects a growing number of children. Indoor air pollution can make it worse. Insects and other pests can also be a real problem for people with asthma or allergies. For example, cockroach and dust mite dropping cause asthma attacks in some people. Pesticides can help fight these pests but they can be dangerous.
Slide 5 Mold grows in wet or damp places. It often smells musty. Many people are allergic to mold. Some kinds of mold are toxic, and coming into contact with large amounts of mold may cause health problems. Symptoms of mold exposure often mimic the flu. People may have runny noses, watery eyes, coughing and headaches. Talk to a doctor if you think mold is causing health problems for you or your family. The best way to rid of mold problems is to get rid of the moisture problem that is causing the mold to grow. Slide 6 Carbon Monoxide is a deadly gas that can come from appliances that burn gas, oil, coal, or wood, are not working as they should. Over 5,000 people in the United States die every year after breathing too much carbon monoxide. Car exhaust also has carbon monoxide in it. You cannot see, taste, or smell carbon monoxide. The signs of low level Carbon monoxide poisoning seem like the flu. People get headaches, they feel tired and sleepy. They may be confused and feel weak. They may feel sick to their stomachs or have a tightness in their chests. Slide 7 Radon is another gas. It occurs from the natural radioactive decay of uranium and radium in the soil. It can get into some homes from the ground beneath the home. Because it is a gas, it can leak into your house with air that is in contact with the soil. You cannot see, taste, or smell radon. It is found all over the United States. Radon causes lung cancer. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. If you smoke and your home has high levels of radon, your risk of lung cancer is especially high. Slide 8 Sometime indoor air pollution comes from what people do in their homes. Tobacco smoking causes cancer and other major health problems. It’s unsafe for children to be around smokers. Second- hand or environmental tobacco smoke can raise children’s risk of ear infections and breathing problems. It can trigger asthma attacks in some people too.
Slide 9 Sometimes indoor air pollution comes from what people have in their homes. Some household products, especially those with solvents, can pollute the air if you don’t use them in the right way. New Furniture, carpets, and building products may give off chemicals that were used in their making. Some of these chemicals can harm people, especially children. IF your home was built before 1978, the paint may have lead in it. Lead is very dangerous for young children.
Slide 10 Here are some good suggestions for cutting down on the indoor air pollution in your home and ways to make the air healthier. Do not smoke in your home or car. Never smoke near your children. Pay attention to housekeeping. Taking care of food and spills right away. Keep bugs and pests away by fixing their entry paths into your home. A clean home is a healthier home. Open windows or use fans to let in fresh air whenever someone uses chemicals in the home or garage. Keep pets out of living areas and bedrooms, especially bedrooms of children with asthma. Slide 11 Ask the salesperson to unroll new carpet and let it air out for at least one day before bringing it into your home. Put in carpet during a season when you can open windows for several days afterwards. Vacuum old carpet well before you remove it to keep down dust. Let new furniture and building materials air out for a few days before bringing them inside. Before buying new things for your home, ask for products made with non-toxic chemicals and materials. Sometimes non-toxic or green building products cost more money. You need to decide if the cost is worth it to protect the health of your family. Make sure that all combustion appliances are working properly. Have them cleaned and checked annually. Clean up any mold that is present in your home. To keep it from returning, identify the moisture problem that is causing it, and fix it. Slide 12 Most people spend at least half, and up to 90% of their time indoors. Air can unhealthy if it has too many pollutants. Indoor air pollutants can be lots of different things, from oven cleaners to cigarette smoke, to mold. It is not always each to tell if your home has unhealthy air. You may notice bad smells or smoke, but you cannot see or smell carbon monoxide or radon. Often the key to good indoor air quality is to keep your home clean and free from pests. Make sure all parts of the home and its heating an cooling units are checked on a regular basis. Take good care of your home to keep it healthy. Slide 13