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How to Control Static Electricity in Your Home

Static electricity is a nuisance. It can even present a danger when there’s enough of it. Let us look at what it is, what causes it, and how you can ensure your home is static electricity-free. How Dry Air Affects Static Electricity Static electricity is an electric charge that builds up in a fixed location. It's attracted to hair, dust, and other materials, which is what causes the shock. When the air is humid, water molecules are present on surfaces that block the buildup of electrical charges. When humidity is low, those molecules aren’t present, which is why static electricity...

What is an Air Scrubber?

The air you breathe at home and in the office is 10 times more likely to contain toxic VOCs or volatile organic compounds states the EPA. These compounds are absorbed into the body and can lead to sinus irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Long-term effects include visual disorders and mental impairment. Protect yourself from VOCs by getting an air scrubber for your home and office.  What is an Air Scrubber An air scrubber is an air purification system that is used by professionals to clean the air in a contained space. The way this system works is by pulling in the air and passing it...

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Buildup

If you use appliances or motors that run on fuel, you are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide or CO is let off by any combustion process (burning material). This gas is very dangerous since you cannot see or smell it. Its molecules attach to red blood cells more quickly than oxygen, which means oxygen doesn’t get to your vital organs. In high concentrations, carbon monoxide can kill. Carbon monoxide buildup happens when there is not enough oxygen in a combustion system to burn material efficiently. If the level of carbon monoxide inside your home matches that of...

Formaldehyde: Sources and Prevention

Formaldehyde is a common cause of indoor air pollution that many people are not aware of. Formaldehyde has a distinctive smell and is instantly recognizable in high concentrations, but can go unnoticed in smaller amounts. It has been linked to cancer in animal studies and is believed to be carcinogenic for humans as well. Aside from cancer, formaldehyde can cause irritation in the throat, eyes, and nose, fatigue, coughing, wheezing, rashes, asthma attacks, or even a severe allergic reaction. It only takes a very tiny amount of formaldehyde in the air to cause such symptoms, above 0.1 parts per million...

Formaldehyde in the Home

Most people know of formaldehyde only as a chemical used to preserve specimens of dead animals for science class dissection. But formaldehyde is actually a very common chemical used for a variety of different purposes and is a by-product of combustion and other processes. Formaldehyde can be found in many areas both inside and outside the home and other environments. Some sources of formaldehyde are appliances that burn fuel, like kerosene space heaters and gas stoves. If these are not appropriately ventilated, they cause a buildup of formaldehyde and other pollutants in the surrounding air. Anything that burns fuel is...

Carbon Monoxide: Sources and Prevention

Carbon monoxide (CO) is not just emitted from gas stoves and furnaces. As indoor air pollution, it has many sources that are important to be aware of. Carbon monoxide is the number one cause of death by poisoning in the United States each year. It is produced during the burning process by a variety of fuels like gasoline, kerosene, wood, and coal. The ventilation of appliances that burn fuel is vital for the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning. But that is not the only important step in preventing health problems. All appliances that burn fuel, like wood stoves, gas stoves,...

Carbon Monoxide: a Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide is the number one cause of poisoning death in the United States. In fact, each year approximately 500 people are killed and about 15,000 others are made ill by this deadly gas. It is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the burning of fuel oils like gasoline, propane, oil, natural gas, and kerosene. Even charcoal and wood produce this gas when burned. There is the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning anywhere fuel is burning. Gas stoves are a common culprit, when not operated correctly or when malfunctioning. Heating systems can leak carbon monoxide into homes and businesses, creating...

Resolving Biological Air Pollutation in Your Home

In order to prevent or remove concentrations of mold, bacteria, and other biological pollutants, you first need to understand how these microorganisms grow. Biological contaminants thrive in moist environments. Bacteria, mold, fungi, and other such nuisances can grow out of control in such conditions. While warmth can also contribute, it is often the colder weather or air conditioning that can worsen the problem because as the air cools, it can hold less moisture, thus causing condensation to develop in potentially hidden areas. Cold windows, for example, can cause a collection of moisture and often grow mold around their perimeter. To...

Locating Biological Pollutants in Your Home

Biological air pollutants include mold, bacteria, fungi, as well as dust mites, insects, and their waste. All of these living (or once living) microorganisms can be harmful when breathed. When present in sufficient amounts, they can cause allergies, asthma, and other health problems. People who live with indoor air pollution of this sort are also more susceptible to viruses, as their immune systems are compromised by the damaging contents of the air. Many of these biological pollutants can lurk in the dark, in secret. People are often not aware that there is a problem until well after the biological contaminants...

Health Effects of Biological Pollutants

Every day in every home and building across the United States, people are exposed to biological pollutants. Even in clean air environments microorganisms are a natural part of life.  And surprisingly, in most buildings there is a higher concentration of air pollution than outside, where pollen and a number of other biological pollutants dwell. Biological pollutants are not always a problem. In fact, a world without germs would be incomprehensible. We carry millions of tiny beneficial flora (microorganisms) inside our intestinal tract. There are tiny microorganisms that live on our skin. Though biological air pollutants are a natural part of...