Good indoor air quality is crucial for human health and particularly important for vulnerable groups i.e. babies, children, the elderly, as well as people living with respiratory and allergic diseases.
A minimum of 9,000 deaths every year are attributed to indoor air pollution in the UK and indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-10 times higher than outdoor levels. This is shocking and we are encouraging everyone to use Clean Air Day as an opportunity to learn more about indoor air quality and why clean air matters. We need to act now to protect future generations by working together to find solutions to improve the quality of the air we breathe in our own homes.
Social behaviour has changed and today people spend on average 90% of their time indoors. Our indoor environments are often poorly ventilated causing humidity to rise and creating ideal conditions for mould and house dust mites to thrive in our soft furnishings and bedding. We are a nation of pet lovers, with our pets often living indoors which can also add to allergens in the indoor environment. – Amena Warner, Head of Clinical Services.
Top tips to help alleviate symptoms in the home
- No matter how good the weather, keep your windows shut if possible. If the desire for fresh air becomes too overwhelming, open a window during the day as the pollen count is higher in the evening
- Cleaning the house regularly can help reduce allergens in the home. Vacuum carpets with a high efficiency air filter vacuum cleaner. To reduce exposure to house dust mites, wash bedding weekly at 60 degrees Celsius, while curtains should be washed every three months at the same temperature. Fabric covered furniture should be vacuumed twice a week
- Make sure you’re not carrying around dust and pollen on your clothes by drying your clean washing indoors, and then keeping wardrobe doors shut
- Pollen can stay on your skin and hair for a long time after you’ve been outside, so take a shower as soon as possible when you return home
- Pet hair carries airborne allergens including pollen so keep your pets out of the bedroom and off soft furnishings, even if they might get a little grumpy about it.