I will admit that the title of this article is a bit corny. But the awareness sparked by the Corona Virus Pandemic brought a whole new view of breathing to the public.  Medical professionals and if most people were asked if breathing is important would say yes. But at the same time, most don’t pay attention to how much or of what they breathe.

Would it surprise you to know that the average person takes 17,000 to 23,000 breaths a day?  Most people are surprised.  They also question, how is that possible.  Well, the average person breathes 12-18 times a minute.  Multiply that number times 60 minutes in 1 hour, times 24 hours. 

What’s even more important than how much you are breathing, is what you are breathing. The average amount of Oxygen in the air is just under 21%.  19.5% is considered a low Oxygen Atmosphere.  At 19.5% or less, you can become dizzy, pass out, or develop a host of other medical issues. Thankfully, most of the places that people breathe are in the acceptable range.  The real problem with breathing deals with what else is in the air.

Most people are aware of airborne contaminants such as pollen, dust, and dander.  But that is only the tip of the iceberg.  Just one burning cigarette can release over 4000 chemicals.  I feel that most people would agree that not breathing is a bad option.  So, what is a person to do. 

First, learn what is in the air you are breathing.  Besides pollen, dust, and dander, there are many contaminants we inhale every day. VOC’s or Volatile Organic compounds.  These are chemicals in the indoor world that surrounds us.  (Cleaning supplies, paint, new carpet, furniture, glues, personal products, candles, air fresheners, insects’ parts and waste, bacteria, viruses, mold, and much more).  We would be remis not to mention Radon, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and formaldehyde which is a preservative used in many products including furniture, carpeting, paints, and much more.

What is the answer?  Knowing and controlling what is in your indoor breathable environment.  Testing your indoor air quality is the best place to start.  Followed by reading the labels on the products you use in your home or office. Warning labels are put on products for a reason.  Use green type chemistries for cleaners and paints. Avoid indoor smoking, burning candles, and artificial scented plugins.  Get and use a good filtering system.  “You either have a good filter, or you are one.”

If this sounds like a good start, it is.  But it is only the start.  Increase the fresh air in your home or office.  Consider using proactive air and surface purifying technologies.  Again, consider testing as you make changes.  This could include new monitoring devices that can help you manage the quality of your breathable space. 

Lance Eisen

Additional Resources:

The Clean Air Store  www.CleanAir.Store

NORMI™ www.NORMI.org

Best Living Systems www.BestLivingSystems.com

EPA on Indoor Air Quality  https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq