The Effect of Outside Pollution on Your Home

Do you think of your home as a healthy living space? Find out if any of these contaminants are making their way into your life, even at home.
The Effect of Outside Pollution on Your Home

Last update: 25 September, 2019

Living in a city has some disadvantages, especially if you live on a very busy street. That’s why we wanted to answer the question: how does outside pollution affect your home? 

You may not see it happening, but the pollution in the air in big cities can definitely filter its way into your home. That means it can also impact your health. This is why it’s important to know about the potential contaminants that can get into your home through windows and pipes, and how you can spot them.

We’re sure you can already think of some things that make an appearance in your home in some way. But there are lots that are hard to spot. So what can you do to detect them in time? Is it possible to really know what your home’s environment is like? How can you tell if it’s polluted?

Outside pollution in your home

Car exhausts

Outside pollution often comes from car exhaust.

If you live in a city with constant traffic, the fumes from car exhausts may be getting into your home. This is a serious air pollution problem. Not only are you breathing it when you’re out on the streets, but the contaminated air is in your home.

As time goes by, you may start to notice your furniture darkening or losing its natural color. It’s a good idea to dust and vacuum every week. The particles that sit on your surfaces tend to produce a lot of grime. We also recommend finding a natural air freshener to get rid of any bad odors.

You might be surprised, but walls are actually the biggest fume absorbers. You can really get a sense of the pollution in your home by looking at them. They’ll start to go black as the years go by. What that means is that if you want to keep the interior clean you’ll need to repaint the walls.

Look around your house and see if car exhaust fumes are affecting the decoration.

Have you ever turned on a faucet and had dirty, discolored water coming out? That can happen if there are any obstructions in the water pipes. It’s usually a temporary issue, but there are other more severe issues worth looking out for.

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself one question. Do you think the water you use daily is healthy?

  • Find out what material the pipes in your building are made of. If they’re lead, then you need to get them replaced. It could be extremely harmful to your health if any of the material flakes off and gets into your water. Lead is toxic to humans.
  • The water pipes running through the city could also contain internal obstructions. If they stay that way long-term, this could wear away the overall system and cause problems in water purification plants.
  • If you live in a city that gets heavy rains, the sewers don’t always collect all the water effectively. If water stays on the surface, it can lead to problems of bad odor and insects making their way into your home. When a city’s sanitation standards aren’t good it affects people’s homes.

Streetlights are also something to pay attention to

Our streets also tend to have powerful LED bulbs lighting them. These help cities save on electricity costs and provide more potent light throughout the night. But this also leads to a clear case of outside pollution, because the light will filter its way into your home.

For example, if there’s a streetlight outside your window, you probably have to get thick drapes or blinds and have them all the way shut at night. The problem with this is when you want total darkness for sleep because it’s hard to completely block out the light. The streetlight is conditioning your quality of life.

There has also been research that shows that light pollution can be harmful to your brain. Basically, it can mess with your brain to constantly be getting light inside your home even when you want it to be completely dark.

If light pollution is a problem for you, let your town council know. Get them to solve the problem.

Outside pollution can also come from noise

There are more and more studies showing that noise can be a true source of pollution and one that can impact your mood. It can cause all kinds of issues from sleep disorders, anxiety, impatience, and increased heart rate.

Circulating traffic, bars, bustle, and things such as that are all big sources of noise pollution. If this is a problem, try to find some soundproofing methods to help cut down on the noise that gets into your home. 

While air and environmental pollution pose the biggest health risks, you can see that it’s important to consider all the different forms of pollution that come from the outside into your home. Take steps to prevent them!

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  • Paz Maroto, José: La contaminación ambiental y sus problemas, Madrid, Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, 1971.