Research show that Europeans spend on average 90% of their time indoors. We eat, live, work and sleep indoor, and most of us do this without thinking about how our indoor environment might be affecting our wellbeing. An unhealthy indoor climate can be the cause of fatigue, headaches and allergies, and in the worst cases it can lead to severe long-term illnesses such as cancer and respiratory diseases. Understanding and controlling our indoor air quality can help reduce the risk of these health conditions.
The good news is, that in most cases it is easy for us to improve our indoor environment. The reason being, that nearly all sources of indoor air pollution come from the indoor — most of which we actually produce ourselves. Common everyday activities such as cooking, sleeping, drying laundry and burning candles all contribute to an unhealthy living environment by emitting micro particles and increasing humidity and CO2 levels. As an example, studies have shown that burning 2 candles for just 1 hour can increase the CO2 level from 500 to 1600 ppm. The recommended exposure limit is 1000 ppm.
Introducing outdoor air is important when improving indoor air quality. Airing out for just 15 minutes will help replace polluted indoor air and get particle and gas levels back to normal. Of course, factors such as location and construction of a building also have a high effect on our indoor climate, and these factors are impossible for us to control on a day to day basis. However, being aware of indoor pollutant sources and their effect on our health can help us take necessary actions in a timely manner.
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