By Dr. Mercola
It is no secret that polluted outdoor air can be dangerous to your health, BUT did you know that indoor air pollution actually poses a FAR greater health risk to you and your family? In fact, it is 100% clear to me that indoor air pollution has become one of the potentially most serious health dangers you can be exposed to!
Please consider this fact carefully: according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and multiple other sources, indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air on average, and in some U.S. regions it can be up 100 times more polluted, PLUS on average in the U.S. you will spend an astonishing 90% of your life indoors.
No matter how well you take care of yourself in terms of diet and exercise, you will definitely want to limit your exposure to potential poisons and toxins if you wish to avoid disease. Most of you still take the air you breathe for granted, and many years ago you could. But now you need to be wary of the tens of thousands of new chemicals that have been created and can volatilize in your indoor home or work space -- and make you sick.
Clean indoor to be healthy is essential to you staying healthy and living a long life, and that is why ...
The health effects of indoor air pollutants range from short-term problems of eye and throat irritation to long-term illness of respiratory disease and cancer.
Based on cancer risk alone, federal scientists have ranked indoor air pollution as one of the most important environmental problems in the US.
Here are more important facts I urge you to consider carefully about indoor air pollution:
- A pollutant released indoors is 1000 times more likely to reach people's lungs than a pollutant released outdoors.
- While one to three times is the average (and that is bad enough!), many homes have airborne pollutant levels 25 to 100 times that of the air outside the home.
- Americans spend 90% of their time indoors.
- Airborne pollutants from cleaning and personal care products you use in your home are three times as likely to cause cancer as pollutants from outside.
- 1500 hazardous substances can be found in the typical North American home.
- An estimated one out of every 15 homes in the United States has radon levels above 4pci/L, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency-recommended action level. A recent report by the National Research Council estimates that radon is responsible for between 15,000 and 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.
- Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) also called "secondhand smoke," a major indoor air pollutant, contains about 4,000 chemicals, including 200 known poisons, such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, as well as 43 carcinogens.
- About 50% of ALL illnesses are caused by or aggravated by indoor pollution.
- Homemakers may have a 55% higher risk of cancer than women working outside the home.
- Air pollution is a prime contributor to lung disease and lung cancer. Lung disease alone claims close to 335,000 lives in America every year and is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Over the last decade, the death rate for lung disease has risen faster than for almost any other major disease.
- Ten million Americans have asthma. Asthma and asthma deaths have increased over 30% in the past 10 years and show no signs of slowing down.
- Thirty-three million Americans suffer from sinusitis (inflammation or infection of sinus passages).
- Biological pollutants such as molds, bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust mites, and animal dander promote poor indoor air quality and may be a major cause of days lost from work and school.
Those especially vulnerable to the health risks of indoor pollutants include infants, the elderly, those with heart and lung diseases, people with asthma, and anyone who has developed extreme sensitivity to chemicals.
Making matters worse -- these are often the people who often spend the most time indoors.
Cities MOST Affected by Poor Air Quality
These cities and their outlying regions have been found to be most affected by poor air quality. This means, in layman's terms, the situation is very bad outside -- and on average MUCH worse inside!
- Northeast -- New York City, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, Newark, Bridgeport and Baltimore
- Southeast -- Atlanta, Birmingham, Knoxville, Louisville, Charleston, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem · Midwest -- Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Detroit
- Southwest: -- Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and Phoenix
- West -- Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, Eugene, Seattle, Provo and Salt Lake City
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