You have cleaned your house thoroughly for a few days, but somehow you still have to sneeze when you are in the house. Tissue bags should be placed strategically around the house, because runny noses have become the norm. Our body needs oxygen to survive, and because we can easily get it out of the air around us, we have to ensure that it is of optimal quality so that we do not run the risk of becoming ill. Sometimes, even if your house is clean, the air quality can still be poor, resulting in a runny nose and a constant sneeze. Instead of using countermeasures to treat reactions, here is a practical guide to indoor air quality test kits to make sure you breathe clean air.
What pollutes the indoor air?
There is usually a craze for buying and renovating houses built in ancient times, but before you make a deal with a house built before 1978, you should know that it probably had leaded paint on the walls. Although this should not be alarming, if the paint flakes, gets wet or is damaged in any other way, you may run the risk of lead poisoning. Once suspended in air and absorbed by inhalation or ingestion of particulate matter, lead is lethal at high concentrations. At lower concentrations, it can cause damage to the kidneys, brain and nervous system.
If you want your home to be free of health problems, you may be committing an injustice by not providing adequate ventilation. According to Molekule, most disinfectants and paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). So it’s not surprising that as soon as you start brushing, you feel irritation in your eyes, and when you’re done, you have nausea, dizziness and headaches. Other common contaminants are mold and house dust mites, which cause shortness of breath and cause asthma. The worst thing about dust mites is that they stay in your house, even though it’s very clean. Pollen, on the other hand, is common in spring and autumn, and its presence indoors exposes you to hay fever.
Which indoor air quality test kit do you need?
According to Second Nature, if you notice mold in your home, you don’t need to call a professional or buy a test kit to confirm what you already know. However, if you have an unproven suspicion of mould, all you need is a petri dish with potato dextrose. Cover the petri dish and leave it for a period as determined by the manufacturer of the potato extrose. If you find fungus in your petri dish after the required time, your house is infected. You should quickly check for mould if your home has leaks, a musty smell with no visible mould, or if you have allergic reactions without knowing why.
Because radon is colourless and odourless, only a test can confirm if your house is infected. All you need is a container of granular activated carbon that is placed inside the house to absorb radon from the air. After about three to seven days you can seal the container and send it to the laboratory for analysis. Normally, 1.3 picocurions per litre is not harmful. However, anything above 4 picocurions per litre requires immediate action to prevent lung cancer. You may have seen people wearing a badge when working with radioactive material; you too need a badge to record the VOC levels to which you are exposed for 24 hours. The badge is then sent to a laboratory for analysis so that appropriate measures can be taken if safety levels are exceeded.
Things to consider when purchasing an indoor air quality test kit
Homedit gives some guidelines to make sure you get the right test kit. Before you buy, you should know what you want to test on, because most kits can detect a variety of contaminants, but a more specific kit will give more accurate results. However, if your home is exposed to different contaminants, a kit for testing different contaminants may be useful. However, accuracy is of the utmost importance for any test kit as it endangers your health if inaccurate results are obtained.
Also, you don’t want anyone waiting weeks for the results; the sooner you get a sample and results, the better. However, you should be careful which laboratory you send your sample to, because not all laboratories are accredited. An accredited laboratory gives you the assurance that the samples are properly analysed.
In any case, even if you absolutely want to test the air quality in your home, only your wallet will decide which test kit you are going to buy. The more complete the kit, the more expensive it will be. Therefore, you may need to limit the number of contaminants to be tested. You should also consider the shipping costs when sending samples to the lab and the accuracy of the results you want; the higher the accuracy, the more you will have to dig in your pocket.
What happens after you get the air quality results in your home?
Since the main reason for testing your home was the ideal air quality, an air purifier should be at the top of the list. According to MerchDope, you not only need to get rid of the materials that cause pollution in your home, but you also need to ensure optimum quality by having a good air cleaner that removes all types of pollution. Air purifiers have an automatic mode of operation which means they consume little energy when the pollution level is low, reducing energy costs. It is recommended to thoroughly purify the indoor air several times an hour, making it a practical tool for people who are prone to asthma or allergies.
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