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Clean Air, Aging and Where You Live


Photo by Engin Akyurt

In the Post-Covid world, one thing is clear. What you breath, in and out of your home, matters. Clean air and effective air circulation are essential.

We now know clearly that Covid is an airborne disease. But, other indoor air pollutants, such as radon, household chemicals, gases, dust and second hand smoke can cause or worsen chronic lung diseases such as asthma. Outdoor air pollutants get into the indoors too. Evidence shows that air pollution can accelerate aging and in some studies, dementia.

The American Lung Association (ALA) compares the home you live in to, well, another set of lungs. In order to “keep the air safe indoors, fresh outdoor air is needed to dilute these indoor pollutants.”

Here are some home features to consider if you are looking for a clean air home or are considering improving your present abode:

  • Home construction should keep water and moisture out. If you can smell mold or mildew, look for leaks or standing water and correct.
  • Make sure that fresh air can get in the home. Open the windows regularly when you can.
  • Have your home checked for radon. If it is an older home (pre-1978) check for asbestos.
  • Use those exhaust vents and fans. The ALA reminds us “you give off moisture when you exhale, shower or cook, so be sure the water can get outside.”
  • Check paint labels and aim for low-VOC paints that emit fewer gases. And, do not use wood products that create formaldehyde emissions.
  • Floor coverings can be problematic. Wall to wall carpeting is a magnet for dirt, pollen and other allergy producing particles. It may be manufactured with chemicals such as formaldehyde, so read labels.
Choose Your Home for Healthy Aging

Consider the air you breath in your own home as another key feature of healthy aging. Read more about finding the best space for you to age in with our new book, Choose Your Place: Rethinking Home as You Age. Please click on the image below to go to Amazon page.

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