Study: Indoor Pollution Could Be Ruining Your Lungs

Health experts and doctors have warned that indoor pollution is causing an increase in cases asthma and lung diseases in the United States and the United Kingdom. Outdoor pollution is already known to be a killer, being linked to 200,000 premature deaths a year in the United States. Outdoor pollution causes 40,000 premature deaths in the United States. However, experts are now expressing concern that we have ignored the damaging impact of bad air in our homes. A new study has shed light on the health risks caused by central heating, gas cookers, mold on our lungs, and cleaning product chemicals.

Scientists say that the results of the new research are especially alarming because people nowadays spend 90 per cent of their time indoors. The findings were published in a study commissioned by Pure essential, a company that sells healthcare products manufactured from essential oils. Professor Tim Sharpe, who has no connection to the firm, warned that the findings illuminate an area of research that has been neglected. Professor Sharpe, a researcher with the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit, pointed out that modern homes are increasingly airtight, and could also contain a big number of pollutants and chemicals. Such chemicals could cause serious health complications.

Gas cookers, pets, open fires, central heating, chemicals found in household cleaning agents, and flame retardants utilized in furnishings are among the numerous factors which could be undermining indoor air quality. Past studies have also shown that approximately 46 per cent of homes have signs of damp and mold with this number going up with the dawn of Millennials taking shape. Moisture encourages the growth of irritant mold, fungal spores, and house dust mites; these can trigger asthma attacks and breathing difficulties. Moisture, warmth, and poor ventilation can also make ideal environments for bacteria and viruses to survive and spread. Aromatic oils are also a health hazard. 

In the past, people used to burn these oils in the belief that their sweet smell could protect from disease. We now know that these oils could be a potential boost for our immune systems. When a person inhales the aroma molecules of essential oils, they activate receptor cells in the nasal passage. The receptor cells, in turn, send signals to the brain, triggering the release of neuro-messengers linked to the body’s immune system and other body systems. These actions make aromatic oils a useful ally in the fight against respiratory ailments because they help modulate the body’s response to environmental triggers such as allergens.

    Deanna Webb

    Deanna works as a copywriter and freelance writer. She lives in Cleveland.