Secret pathogens – How carpets and walls damage your health

We spend a large part of our lives indoors, in schools, offices, stores or homes. A healthy indoor climate thus becomes important. However, indoor pollution levels are often much higher than would be expected. In this context, not only cigarettes can be to blame, but also building materials, varnishes, paints and furniture, which, without you really realizing it, can cause health problems and trigger allergic reactions. Especially in children, whose immune system is still very undeveloped, this can cause a lot of damage, but allergy sufferers should also beware of the dangers of the living space.

Walls, carpets and dangers for allergy sufferers

A common carrier of pollutants is actually the floors and walls in your interior. Both new and old floor coverings and wallpapers can secrete mostly odorless harmful substances. In many cases, the material of the carpet or wall covering reacts with the adhesive used and as a result, a rather unpleasant substance is released into the outside air whenever a family member steps on the flooring in the house or leans against a wall. Colored parts of the carpet or components made of plastic are furthermore contaminated with toxic heavy metals, which can also easily enter the room air through the dust. Carpets are dust carriers, you should be aware of that. The fine dust makes it possible to absorb even the tiniest particles of pollutants through the respiratory tract. This can cause headaches or even cause worse diseases.

If the house dust is combined with moist air indoors, it is also the perfect substrate for dust mites, which can trigger sensitive reactions, especially in allergy sufferers. Often allergic manifestations occur here, such as sniffles, sneezing, reddened eyes or shortness of breath. If you want to effectively combat dust mites, you should reduce the humidity in the room to below 30 percent. Since the little animals do not tolerate warm or cold air, this is the best way to fight them and create a better indoor air.

Parquet floors and asbestos

Old parquet floors in particular, which were fixed with black tar glue, often contain carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons. For example, finished floors secrete extremely harmful formaldehyde, a process that can even increase over the years as the flooring wears.

In the 1980s, asbestos floor coverings were also increasingly installed in living spaces. Damage to or improper treatment of floors in this context can produce carcinogenic fibers in the indoor air, which are all the more dangerous when bound in screed and in interaction with adhesive materials. Asbestos can be found not only in floor coverings, but also in old night storage heaters. Here, they also represent a great potential danger and should under no circumstances be removed by yourself! For all work concerning asbestos, it is essential to consult a specialist company, as the substance is highly hazardous to health!

Tips for better indoor climate

A good alternative for heating are electric heaters, such as the Aeroflow, or simple compact tile stoves. They can easily replace night storage heaters containing asbestos and ensure healthy and environmentally conscious indoor air. For the same reason, parquet floors from the 40s and 60s are recommended, as asbestos was also avoided here. When painting your walls, use emulsion paint to contain solvent release and further ensure adequate humidity. You can also create an indoor climate bonus by shock ventilation in the morning, regular vacuuming and green plants in the interior.

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