Hidden danger in home could lead to cancer – but one simple trick will help prevent it

A doctor has shared how opening your window for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes a day could potentially save you from harmful indoor pollution. With so much focus being on outdoor pollution and vehicle emissions, Dr Chris Etheridge says people barely give a thought to the air quality in our homes – and this shouldn’t be the case.

According to a Dyson study, 39 per cent of adults say that as long as their home feels clean, they assume there is no air pollution. Stressing what could be damaging the air in your home however, Etheridge lists carpets, cleaning products, cooking and heating, alongside damp and laundry, as top culprits.

“We can’t see these, they’re microscopic, but they can be gases, dust or dirt,” he tells New Idea Magazine. “It includes mould, central heating, gas cookers, chemicals in cleaning products and even pets.”

According to the National Institute for Health and Care research, people in the UK spend about 90 per cent of their time indoors and the proportion of this time spent in their own homes has increased, since COVID-19.

As many continue working from home, maintaining good indoor air quality has become increasingly crucial. Particular concerns arise in relation to pollutants derived from sources inside the home; e.g. cooking, combustion, cleaning, furnishings, the ground and biological agents (including mould).

If indoor pollution is affecting you, you may sneeze, wheeze or have an itchy throat, and feel irritation in your eyes.

“Ultra-fine particles of pollution can enter the blood stream and impact your vital organs,” airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg tells the publication. “Scientists have determined fire retardants could even cause cancer.”

Latest data from Asthma + Lung UK also reveals that asthma-related deaths are on the rise and urgent calls to the Government have been made to push for a change.

According to Dr Etheridge, carpets are a haven for harmful particles such as dust mites, fungus and pet hair which can trigger ashtma and allergies. To help with this, changing to wooden flooring or getting a vaccum clean with a HEPA filter is suggested.

Cleaning products such as bleach that contain toxic chemicals can also have an affect.

“Some scientists are calling for traffic light-style warnings,” the doctor claims.

A healthier version is to clean your home with products containing 100 per cent natural and toxin-free ingredients.

Additionally, while using a cooker and warming up your home is essential, it’s important to use an extractor fan or simply keep windows open.

Dr Chris goes on to list dampness and mould as affecting air quality, stressing: “They release fungi and spores, which are bad for respiratory issues and allergies.”

In this case, he says it’s important to fix any leaks, adding: “Even if it’s small, it’s creating moisture and mould loves moisure. If you use a dehumidifier, empty the drip tray.”

Lastly, while drying clothes outdoors can be difficult with the current turbulent weather, expert Max says bringing in wet clothes could create mould spores.

“This provides the perfect environment for dust mites – a common trigger for asthma and allergies.

“If you have to dry clothes indoors, keep the door to the rest of the house shut and the window of the drying room open,” he added.

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