People are restless. Honestly, who can blame them? It’s been a year since COVID-19 forced many of us to isolate at home. It’s for a good cause, though; our collective effort has helped limit the spread of the virus. But this achievement hasn’t come without sacrifice. Spending all this time at home has certainly taken a toll on our mental health, and due to the presence of indoor air pollution, it has likely also had a substantial effect on our physical health as well. Most days, the air in our homes seems unassuming—unless you’ve recently burned dinner, it lives up to the phrase “out of sight, out of mind.” But according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this air can actually be just as polluted as the air we breathe outside. Sometimes this can happen because outdoor pollutants manage to sneak their way into our homes, but researchers Christopher Long and Peter Valberg point out that more often than not the pollution is actually generated indoors. For example, high concentrations of gases and particles are released into the air every time we cook and clean—two activities we’ve been doing a lot more often as a result of the pandemic.

 

 

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