‘The first step is to have your home tested to get an indication of the severity of the problem’
A fifth of parents will move house in the next five years due to poor air quality where they live, a poll claims.
Around four in 10 mothers and fathers polled believe air pollution in the area surrounding their homes has become increasingly severe in recent years.
Half of those surveyed fear this has directly impacted their own health or the health of those they live with, including their children.
However, the majority of those polled had only considered the health impact of polluted outdoors air – rather than polluted indoor air.
The research of 2,000 adults – including 1,377 parents – was commissioned by Airthings, makers of smart radon and indoor air quality monitors.
“Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers,” a spokesperson said. “In fact, radon-induced lung cancer kills more people than house fires and carbon monoxide combined.
“It’s an invisible radioactive gas with no smell or taste and comes from rocks and soil.
“Low levels can be found in the air outside however levels of radon can be higher inside buildings – homes included.”
The survey also found half of those polled don’t know what radon is and two thirds didn’t know it can cause cancer.
Similarly, eight in 10 have no idea what volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are, with 80 per cent unaware they can cause eye, nose and throat irritation.
More than half said their homes haven’t been tested for radon or VOCs, while a third admitted they don’t know one way or the other.
The majority of those polled have experienced symptoms associated with poor indoor air quality or noticed them among those they live with.
Symptoms commonly endured include frequent headaches, constant dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin, and ongoing fatigue. A fifth also reported having a tendency or noticed a tendency among their cohabitees to cough and sneeze.
“In addition to testing your home for radon and VOCs there are simple steps you can take to reduce levels of these gasses,” the spokesperson continued.
“But the first step is to have your home tested to get an indication of the severity of the problem.
“There are also things you can do to minimise VOCs in particular – such as ditching toxic chemicals and using natural cleaning products, opening windows, vacuuming regularly and having lots of house plants in the house.”