Breathe In, Breathe Out — Why the Air Quality at Home Matters to Our Kids

Did you know that the air in our homes can also be polluted? Here are a few things mums should know about air pollution 🤔

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As mums, we do our best to make our homes a safe and loving environment for our families. We fill it with good food and we clean it as best we could to ensure the health and safety of our kids.

However, the sad reality is that our homes might be polluted without us even seeing or knowing it. But we can sometimes smell it. When we think of pollution, the first thing that comes to mind is the pile of trash on our streets or even the blackish smoke from vehicles. We wouldn’t even consider our offices or even our homes (gasp!) as polluted. But chances are, it is.

What is air pollution?

Air pollution is a mixture of natural and man-made substances in the air we breathe. It’s typically classified into two: outdoor and indoor air pollution. Both can be made up of airborne pollutants such as fine particles (or particulate matter) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Particulate matter (also referred to as PM) is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. PM 2.5 is considered fine enough (about 30x smaller than a human hair) to travel deeply into our respiratory tract and even our lungs. On the other hand, volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) are emitted gases from certain solids or liquids, which can include a variety of chemicals. Both PM and VOCs are present in both indoor and outdoor air.

Outdoor air pollution are exposures that take place outside of a structure or built environment. Common sources of outdoor air pollution include:

  • Wildfire smoke contains a mix of PM and VOCs. Exposure to wildfire smoke can affect the heart and lungs and can cause several health issues such as coughing, difficulty in breathing, excess mucus, and other lung and respiratory problems.
  • Smog, which is typically caused by industrial and traffic pollution.
  • Pollen from plants, which can be a significant cause of allergies in kids and adults alike.

On the other hand, indoor air pollution refers to the chemical, biological, and physical contamination of indoor air that could also lead to adverse health effects. Common sources of indoor air pollution include:

  • Cigarette or tobacco smoke: Considered as one of most common sources of indoor pollution, it contains residual gas and PM that can settle inside the home, particularly in rooms with a lot of carpeting or fabric.
  • Household cleaners or chemicals: These can release fumes that can irritate your nose, mouth, lungs, and even skin. Its fumes can cause inflammation that can worsen allergies and even adversely affect people with chronic respiratory problems.
  • Candles, incense, and irritating perfumes
  • Craft and office supplies, such as glue, paints, and even toner ink
  • Fumes from dry cleaned clothes
  • Allergens such as mold, pollen (from indoor plants and flowers), pet dander (from our pets), and dust mites
  • Improper ventilation
  • Gas stoves that are not well-ventilated
  • Outdoor air pollution — especially in cases of severe air quality events such as wildfire smoke, an increase in smog or haze, and even a volcanic eruption

What are the effects of indoor air pollution on our family?

Aside from aggravating allergies and respiratory ailments in adults and kids alike, studies have shown that kids are more at risk to air pollution because their organs are still developing and they breathe in more air in relation to their body weight. Kids exposed to air pollution are at a higher risk for:

  • Detrimental effects on neurodevelopment that can then negatively impact mental and motor development and lead to lower scores on cognitive tests
  • Damage to lung function
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Aggravated asthma symptoms
  • Increased respiratory symptoms including airway irritation and inflammation, coughing and difficulty in breathing

What can we do to keep our family safe from air pollution?

Here are a few things you can do to minimise air pollution inside your home:

  • Limit sources of air pollution. Try to keep your home cigarette/tobacco/smoke-free. Ensure that your gas range or kitchen is properly ventilated and try to opt for natural household cleaning materials to minimise fumes from chemicals.
  • Use an air purifier to help minimise airborne pollutants. Air purifiers such as TruSens get rid of air impurities including odours, smoke, dust, and pet dander with the use of one or several filters. If you’re considering using one in your home, here are a few reasons why TruSens is the right fit for your family:
    • TruSens combines the power of proven HEPA technology and UV sterilisation in purifying your air. TruSens air purifiers make use of 4 levels of purification:
      • Washable pre-filter: this captures particles such as dust and pet hair (*included in two models)
      • Activated carbon: removes certain gases and odours
      • HEPA filter: captures particulate matter down to 0.3 microns, which is smaller than a hair strand
      • UV sterilisation: reduced bacteria growth on the filter surface which can also cause odours
    • TruSens effectively monitors your air quality. Most air purifiers can only sense the air quality in it’s immediate vicinity. TruSens, on the other hand, makes use of a remote SensorPod air quality monitor, which you can set up in a different area of your home. The SensorPod communicates to the purifier so it can adjust speed necessarily, effectively ensuring that the entire room is getting clean air.
    • TruSens lets you know your air quality. One of the most effective ways to ensure that your family is safe from air pollution is to monitor the air quality in your home so you can effectively make the necessary adjustments. TruSens uses the 1-500 point Air Quality Index (AQI) scale from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to measure your home’s air quality — this is then shown in the unit’s LED illuminated, color-coded display. A green light means an AQI of 0-50 or good — little to no risk of air pollution. A yellow light means an AQI of 50-100 or moderate — some pollution in the air may be a moderate health concern. And a red light means an AQI of 100-500 or poor — the air quality may impact your health over time. TruSens’ index provides you valuable information about the air quality your family is breathing and allows you to make the necessary changes to improve it.
    • TruSens ensures that your family breathes clean air everywhere. Other purifiers can leave rooms with dead zones — as it pushes air out in only one direction leaving areas where little to no air circulates. TruSens remedies this with its PureDirect dual airflow — which uses two streams of air without directing the airflow at the people who might be in the room. A dual airflow distributes air throughout the room, splitting the air into dual streams moves the air in the room in an even pattern.
    • TruSens offers several options that will fit your home. TruSens air purifiers are available in 3 models: TruSens Small Room (covers up to 250 square feet, not compatible with SensorPod), TruSens Medium Room (covers up to 375 square feet, with SensorPod), and TruSens Large Room (covers up to 750 square feet, with SensorPod).
    • TruSens is easy to use. TruSens air purifiers and their SensorPods are easy to use and set up. The SensorPods are plug and play right out of the box. Replacement filters and UV bulbs are also readily available.
    • TruSens adapts to you and your family. Air quality inside your home can change in an instant and TruSens air purifiers make use of adaptive technology to fit your lifestyle and home. You can also easily switch to manual mode any time you choose. As a Red Dot Winner in 2019, TruSens is a smart and innovative product that will improve your home’s air quality and your family’s health.

Ultimately, us moms only want the best for our family. And thanks to TruSens air purifiers, we can be rest assured that our home’s indoor air pollution is minimised and our family’s health is uncompromised. Visit TruSens to learn more about air purifiers.

References: Molekule, WHO, OECD

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