While plastics and household cleaners make our lives more convenient, there could be more than a monetary price to pay. The same goes for some new flooring products, paints, and furniture. Inside your home, potentially harmful chemicals are just waiting to wreak havoc with your allergies, asthma, and other respiratory ailments.
Formaldehyde – While a minimal exposure isn’t considered dangerous, high levels of formaldehyde, over time, can lead to throat and nose cancers. The chemical is often found in new furniture that is made with particleboard, plywood, or urea-formaldehyde glues.
2-Butoxyethanol – Several all-purpose cleaning products contain 2-butoxyethanol, a colorless liquid solvent. It can cause nasal irritation and even vomiting with prolonged exposure.
Pesticides – Anything that you step on outside gets tracked inside, including pesticides. Exposure to pesticides can cause headaches, breathing problems, and muscle twitching. So, ditch those shoes at the door.
Benzene – Sometimes you need a little more help to remove tough stains, mildew, and soap scum, in the form of a powdered cleanser commonly made with benzene. Short term effects include irregular heartbeat, confusion, and even tremors, while long-term exposure has been linked to a decrease in red blood cell counts and harmful effects on bone marrow.
Toxic Phthalates – Some phthalates are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors and can be harmful to male reproductive organs. They also are found in vinyl flooring.
Volatile Organic Compounds – When you bring your clothes home from the dry cleaner, you also maybe be toting volatile organic compounds. VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, dizziness, and headaches.
Perfluorinated Grease-Proofing Agents – Some fast food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, and pet food bags contain perfluorinated grease-proofing agents which prevent grease from leaking through the bags and packaging. While scientists continue to study these chemicals, it is believed that they can interfere with the body’s hormones, affect the immune system, and increase the risk of certain cancers.
Polyvinyl Chloride – Labeled a Group A human carcinogen by the EPA, polyvinyl chloride can be found in some shower curtain liners. In small amounts, it isn’t considered dangerous, but in larger concentrated amounts it can cause drowsiness and dizziness and irritate the respiratory system.
Not a pretty picture, is it? Well, Air Professionals can brighten things up with a whole-house air filtration system. With an in-duct HEPA filter, for example, we can rid your home of more than 99% of dust, dirt, pesticides, bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants that flow through your ducts on the wings of conditioned air. Contact us today for new system proposal.