Respiratory symptoms and disease can be an outcome of poor indoor air quality. British Lung Foundation have produced some useful resources explaining how to deal with it.
With over 30 years’ worth of research into different lung conditions, the British Lung Foundation is the nation’s biggest lung charity. Coughing, wheezing, asthma, COPD and Lung Cancer can all be caused by poor indoor air quality. Lung cancer caused by indoor air pollution is responsible for the loss of 30,600 healthy life years in the UK on its own. As a result, BLF have a dedicated section on their website called “your home and your lungs” to indoor air quality, where one can find many useful resources and information about indoor air pollution and lung disease.
Who is at risk?
According to BLF, you’re at greater risk of being affected by indoor air pollution if you have already been diagnosed with a long-term lung condition such as asthma or COPD. If you have a lung condition, you may also be likely to spend more time indoors, which further increases your risk.
Children are also particularly sensitive to poor indoor air quality. Compared to adults, children’s lungs are proportionally larger in relation to their body weight, meaning they breathe in more. Furthermore, a child’s immune system is still developing and so they are less capable of fighting off any problems caused by indoor air pollution.
If you have been breathing polluted air for days or weeks at a time, you may start noticing some symptoms. These include a dry throat, cough, shortness of breath, an itchy or runny nose or the feeling of being wheezy.
BLF lists some of the most common causes of indoor air pollution to be a result of:
- How buildings are ventilated
- Damp and condensation
- How we heat and cook in our homes
- Chemicals in cleaning or decorating products
They also provide a guide on how to improve your homes indoor air quality including tips such as:
- Making sure your home is ventilated
- Using an extractor fan when cooking or showering to avoid condensation
- Dry your washing outside
- Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature