Air Quality: What are you Breathing? - Parker & Sons

Everyone wants to feel healthy. Not much feels better than taking a deep breath of fresh, clean, quality air. Good ol’ oxygen, we can’t live without it, however most city residences are not getting as much oxygen as they should be. Pollution and air contaminants in major cities can drop air purity levels as much as 30 percent below normal. Unfortunately, not everyone can escape to the mountains or forest every weekend to soak in all the delicious fresh air. People should familiarize themselves with what could be in their city air.

What makes up our atmosphere?

Earth’s atmosphere is not composed solely of life-giving oxygen. In fact if Earth’s atmosphere was composed just of oxygen it wouldn’t be able to support life. Our air is made up mostly of nitrogen. It accounts for almost 80 percent of what we breathe! The remaining 20 percent is composed largely of oxygen with trace elements of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, and methane thrown in for good measure.

Things we don’t want

Unfortunately for our health and safety this ideal atmospheric mix is rare, usually our air is full of all kinds of little extra stuff that could be potentially hazardous. Common pollutants and contaminants found in homes are: carbon monoxide, radon, mold, and mildew. Carbon monoxide is the most immediately dangerous of these pollutants. It is colorless and odorless and prolonged exposure can cause death. The only way to find out if there is carbon monoxide in your air is to purchase a carbon monoxide detector which functions much like a smoke detector. Radon, like carbon monoxide, is colorless and odorless. Testing for it requires a specialized detection kit.  Mold and mildew are insidious biological growths that love settling in wherever there may be some moisture. They can give off spores which have the potential to be extremely harmful. Getting rid of mold requires thorough cleaning with an agent like ammonia and some solid elbow grease.

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