Research

What are the hazardous substances in the home air?

More than 90% of the time people spend indoorsand inhale substances that are emitted from walls, furniture and other interior elements. Based on this fact, the authors of a new scientific study decided to check whether there are chemical elements that are especially dangerous to human health among these substances. It turned out yes - there are approximately 55 chemicals of concern found in indoor air. This is especially true for new apartments, which are furnished with newly purchased wardrobes, sofas, carpets, and so on. All this "smell of novelty" is actually capable of very much harm to human health, so after buying a new home, scientists recommend not to start living there right away - it is better to wait a few weeks. Let's take a closer look at the results of a scientific study?

Household air contains chemicals that are hazardous to health

Why is home air dangerous?

The results of the scientific work carried out werepublished in the journal Hazardous Materials. According to the authors of the study, the greatest danger is carried by substances that are contained in building materials and give furniture a specific "smell of novelty." In total, scientists have identified 55 potentially hazardous compounds - the concentration of some of them in American homes is thousands of times higher than the recommended level.

There are especially many chemicals in the air of new apartments.

Hazardous substances in apartments

One of the most dangerous substances in indoor air is formaldehyde... This toxic chemical is the most emittedwood furnishings and floors. Many people experience severe skin irritation upon contact with this substance. Less obvious dangers of formaldehyde include the fact that it easily penetrates the tissues of the human body and acts as a strong carcinogen, that is, it can cause the development of cancer.

Formaldehyde is one of the most dangerous substances for the human body.

Scientists have found a high concentration in carpets butylhydroxyanisole... According to the calculations, its content in the homeair 800 times higher than normal. It is used in carpets because it is a hard, waxy substance. It can also be found in cosmetics, rubber and even food and is listed as an E320 additive. Manufacturers use it as an antioxidant that slows down oxidation processes. In some countries, the use of this dietary supplement is prohibited due to the risk of developing cancer. But others believe that the amount of E320 in food is so small that it cannot be harmful.

Butylhydroxyanisole is found in many foods, but in very small quantities

Also, the authors of the scientific work noted the high content of a chemical with a difficult to pronounce name in the indoor air. hexamethylene diisocyanate... According to them, in carpets, the concentrationthis substance is thousands of times higher than indicated in the recommendations. In its pure form, this chemical compound is a colorless liquid with a pungent odor. In textile materials, it is used as an impregnation. This substance is known to cause severe irritation to the eyes, nose and throat. If this substance is not eroded for a long time, serious respiratory diseases can occur.

Sometimes even cozy homes can be dangerous.

See also: What is dust and is it true that it consists of skin particles?

What should be done before entering the house?

This is not a complete list of hazardous substancesthat are in the air at home. The authors of the scientific work believe that after buying an apartment, you do not need to immediately move into it - it is better to wait until the harmful substances evaporate. Researchers also want certain chemicals to be banned from use. But it is not clear how to replace them, because the new substances may turn out to be even more dangerous than the current ones. With all this, scientists admit that there are some disadvantages in their scientific work. For example, due to the large number of potentially hazardous substances requiring inspection, they had to use rather superficial risk assessment methods. This means that some substances may be more hazardous than it is believed.

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It should be noted that in addition to chemicals inthere is a lot of dust in the home air - particles up to 2 millimeters in size. At the end of 2020, I already talked about the fact that, in addition to dead cells of human skin, mites live in house dust and there are chemicals. If you want to know more about the dangers that lurk in our homes, read this material.