How Does Indoor Air Pollution Affect Expecting Mothers?

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How Does Indoor Air Pollution Affect Expecting Mothers?

Expecting Mothers and Indoor Air

Pregnancy is an exciting time in any woman's life, but it also comes with downsides. One such downside is worrying about new risks to your safety and health. There are many health and safety concerns to expectant mothers, the one we'll be focusing on today is indoor air pollution. Typically when one thinks about air pollution, they think about breathing in car exhaust or fumes from a power plant. But many people are unaware that pollution also exists in the home and workplace. Air pollution often finds itself in the home, workplace, or any other indoor facility where an expectant mother spends a significant amount of time. One particular study showed that indoor exposure to Formaldehyde is associated with lower birth weight. Additional studies have shown that air pollution is associated with an increased risk of premature birth, asthma, and even autism.

What are the Risks?

Because of these risks to your baby, it's crucial to fight indoor air pollution in any way possible. An excellent way to do this is by examining your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, otherwise known as HVAC, and making any necessary changes. First things first, you should try to find symptoms of ventilation problems. Symptoms of ventilation issues include but are not limited to:
  • Moisture on surfaces
  • Odd smells in the air
  • Unclean central heating or air condition equipment
It's generally a good idea to test for radon, too. Professionals best do all of this, and we are more than happy to help you out with this matter.

Ventilation

The next step is improving ventilation. Some good options to improve airflow are opening up - like doors and windows, if possible. If you have fans in your home, it's also a great option to turn those on. Another fantastic option is turning on any exhaust fans that output outdoors that you might have, like in a kitchen. We are more than happy to help you identify any ways to do this.

Update Your HVAC Filters

The best solution available to you is, of course, replacing or adding new HVAC equipment. A faulty or insufficient HVAC system is generally going to be the source of one's problems with indoor air pollution. With traditional HVAC systems or furnaces, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends replacing your filters every 2-3 months. It's crucial to have the right size filter when you do this. You can also add a portable air cleaning device to your home. Portable air cleaners are an additional device that filters gases and particles. Along with those two options, a third option is switching to a heat pump. Heat pumps don't combust and thus don't produce emissions that can be harmful to your health.

Call Us Today

If you want more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at Cahill Heating, Air Conditioning, & Electric. We are more than happy to answer any HVAC-related questions you have or offer you our services if you are so inclined. A proper HVAC system is crucial to quality indoor air, and thus to the health of expecting mothers and their babies. We would love to help you!

 
Have any questions regarding one of our articles? Contact Cahill Heating, Air Conditioning, & Electric at (847) 367-4492 or use our online form to schedule your next appointment!