Around 9.6 million or 13% of children under the age of 18 have atopic dermatitis. Eczema is a response of the body’s immune system to an irritant such as pollutants found in indoor air. Pollution is not only found outdoors, it is also present inside homes. Indoor quality of air is often overlooked as a source of allergies or skin problems among children but it has devastating effects on the epidermis. Patients living with eczema may experience a different quality of life and health. Indoor pollution also causes significant health problems in addition to skin disorders.
Poor Indoor Air Quality Impacts Health
Unknown to many, indoor air is important to the health of those living inside. With the average American spending 90% of their time indoors and levels of pollutants 2-5 times more than outdoors (EPA), it is expected that exposure to bad air affects the health of people. Children and seniors are most vulnerable to the effects of microparticles found in indoor air. Airborne or suspended matter can get into airways, lungs, and skin. By far, the quickest entry of harmful particles is through the skin causing immediate reactions such as rashes, redness, itchiness, and swelling. Skin problems have many side effects, that, in turn, have an impact on your child’s performance in school (not being able to concentrate because of rashes or absences), mood and distress levels. Your child may also become irritable and become self-conscious of their skin problems which may prompt teasing or at worse bullying.
Sources of Pollutants
There are several major pollutants including asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead, volatile organic compounds, radon and indoor particulate matter. These can be found in stuff that you use every day such as household cleaners, sprays, deodorant, shampoos, body wash and washing liquid. Paint and solvents, for example, emit gases that can be inhaled or absorbed by the skin. Indoor particulate matter can be generated by cooking, burning candles and use of fireplaces while biological pollutants come from bacteria, viruses, pollen, saliva & dander of household pets and droppings & dried urine of insects & animals. In short, there are many possible sources of pollutants indoors.
To tackle indoor pollution, you should be mindful of what you are using inside the home to clean and keep it in a fresh state. Make it a point to air the house at regular intervals to change the air inside and get rid of pollutants. Use vents and exhaust fans. Keep the house clean and free of dust and dirt. Ensure that air filters are changed or cleaned regularly. To reduce VOC exposure, make sure that rooms are well ventilated, seal unused products properly and store them away from children.
The quality of air that you breathe is very important for good health and to avoid skin problems from developing. Among children who are vulnerable to illnesses and skin irritation, keeping pollutants out of the home improves their overall health and quality of life.