Biological pollutants are everywhere, both inside and outside your home. Inside a modern home that has been built for efficiency, these pollutants play a major role in poor indoor air quality. Learning more about these pollutants can help you improve the indoor air quality in your home.
Common Biological Pollutants
All biological pollutants come from human or animal sources. A few of the more common ones include:
- Dander, which is dead cells that drop from fur, skin or feathers
- Dust mite detritus
- Cockroach detritus
- Bacteria and viruses
Every house has one or more of these pollutants, no matter how clean it may be. Even with the tightest homes, pollen will hitchhike on clothing and other items you bring into the house. Dust mites thrive just about anywhere they can find dead human skin cells. Bacteria and viruses can live on most surfaces, often for years. And these biological pollutants can cause allergic reactions and infections. In some cases, they can be toxic.
Combating Biological Pollutants
While there’s nothing you can do to eliminate all of these pollutants forever, there are steps you can take to combat them and minimize their effect:
- Control the moisture in your home. Almost all of these pollutants need moisture to thrive. Keep indoor humidity in your control by fixing any plumbing leaks quickly and exhaust moisture out of bathrooms and kitchens. Use dehumidifiers as needed.
- Keep dust to a minimum. Dust is an accumulation of a lot of things, including dust mite debris, pollen and dander. Getting rid of the dust will remove the things contained within it. Dust and vacuum regularly. Wash bedding in hot water to kill dust mites.
- Install an air cleaner. Many biological pollutants drift around in the air. If your home uses forced air for heating and cooling, those pollutants get circulated throughout your home. Adding an air cleaner to the ductwork would trap up to 95 percent of those airborne pollutants.