How Can Pregnant Women Protect Themselves from Poor IAQ?

A growing body of research is showing that air pollution can have a negative effect on the unborn and can even increase the likelihood of premature births. Since indoor air quality is so often worse than outdoor air pollution, it’s important to do all you can to improve your IAQ, or in this case, “pregnant IAQ,” if there is a pregnancy in your household.

At this point, more research needs to be done about the correlation between low birth weight and/or a greater frequency of premature births as it relates to the presence of indoor air pollution. Researchers are not yet sure what levels of typical indoor air pollutants might adversely affect a pregnancy or the health of a newborn.

Typical Indoor Air Pollutants That Might Affect IAQ

Some of the typical indoor air pollutants that might be of concern to a pregnant woman are the VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These are the off-gassed pollutants that are emitted by many products, such as:

  • Furniture that’s made of pressed wood
  • Solvents
  • Paint
  • Dry-cleaned clothing
  • Moth repellents
  • Air fresheners
  • Aerosols
  • Fragrances
  • Glues and adhesives
  • Pesticides

Tobacco smoke and radon are other gases that might adversely affect pregnant women.

Controlling VOCs for Better Pregnant IAQ

You can improve pregnant IAQ and diminish the level of VOCs in your home by airing out dry cleaning and pressed wood before bringing it inside. It’s also helpful to keep the lids on solvents, paints, and other substances, or store them outdoors in a garage or storeroom. Furthermore, avoid burning petroleum-based candles; don’t use air fresheners or fragrances; and be sure to use craft supplies that involve paint, glue, and solvents outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.

You can also look for natural products that don’t give off such harmful emissions. For instance, use soy candles instead of petroleum-based options. Use products made of real wood rather than pressed wood, which gives off formaldehyde.

Use a good-quality air filter on your HVAC system or an air purifier to improve pregnant IAQ in your home.

For more advice on improving pregnant IAQ in your home, contact NisAir Conditioning and Heating.

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