Keeping the air clean and safe where you live
We like to think of our homes
as refuges, but indoor air can be
unhealthier than what lurks outside
the front door.
Long, cold Canadian winters
mean windows are often shut tightly
and harmful airborne chemicals or
particulates can linger longer.
“The big thing for people to be
aware of is whatever they are doing
inside their house will affect air
quality,” says Dr. Brent Friesen, a
Calgary Zone Medical Officer of
Health for Alberta Health Services.
That includes how your home is
heated and the construction products
and materials used in your home.
Indoor pollutants can cause
allergies, asthma and even lung
Common sources include:
working and poorly maintained
from soil or granite
Friesen says radon is the most
concerning. Tasteless and odourless,
the radioactive gas is more prevalent
in winter because it sneaks into
cracks in floors or through sump
pumps. Radon levels vary from house
to house. “If your neighbour has
a low level, you still need to check
to see what your level is. It’s really
important,” Friesen says. Basement-dwellers are the most vulnerable.
Radon is the number two cause of