Proposed indoor air quality law does not address winter humidity reports fresh water advocate
Whether or not EPA regulation is implemented, low indoor humidity in winter is health hazard says water advocate Sharon Kleyne
Hear the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water on World Talk Radio, Voice America, Green Talk Network and Apple iTunesp
Proposed Environmental Protection Agency (RPA) indoor air quality regulations address pollution and ventilation but not indoor humidity, according to fresh water advocate and radio host Sharon Kleyne.* Indoor humidity is especially important in winter because low indoor humidity, as a result of artificially heated air, can magnify the effects of exposure to other indoor pollutants that build up in winter such as radon gas, carbon monoxide, mold spores, ambient bacteria and particulates such as wood smoke, dust and carbon soot.
* "Indoor air quality - can the government mandate a change?" Inquisitr (via Green News), December 9, 2014
The syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® radio show, hosted by fresh water advocate Sharon Kleyne, is heard weekly on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes. The show is sponsored by Bio-Logic Aqua® Research, a global research and technology center founded by Kleyne and specializing in fresh water, the atmosphere and dehydration. Nature's Tears® EyeMist® is the Research Center's signature product for dry and dehydrated eyes.
Kleyne will discuss indoor air quality in winter on her Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® radio broadcast of December 22, 2014 (Live show or podcast: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2207/the-sharon-kleyne-hour).
Kleyne is neutral on the question of whether the EPA should regulate indoor air quality in private residences. She does believe that the public needs to become educated on the health hazards of indoor winter air, including the increased health risk that can result from low atmospheric water vapor content (humidity). Low humidity is far more common in winter than summer.
Cooler air, Kleyne explains, cannot hold as much water as warmer air. The difference in water vapor holding potential between air at 80 degrees (f) and air at zero degrees (f) is huge. As a result, artificially heated indoor air in winter tends to be quite dry, often with a relative humidity below 10%.
When the humidity is high, the body absorbs moisture from the air. When the humidity is low, water at or just below the body's surface - in the eyes, skin, mouth and lungs - evaporates into the air, eventually causing body surfaces, and the body interior, to become dehydrated. Dehydrated body surfaces have less resistance to viral, bacterial and mold spore invasion. Atmospheric humidity is also important to breathing and oxygen transfer in the lungs.
The human immune system, like all other body processes, says Kleyne, requires water to function ideally. When the body is dehydrated, the skin's ability to defend is compromised and the internal immune system is also compromised. .
The ideal room humidity at 70 degrees (f) is 40 to 60 percent, says Kleyne.
Wind from heating ducts increase the rate of body surface evaporation, according to Kleyne. When water evaporates out of the surface of the skin, Kleyne explains, it forms a thin protective layer of warm moist air around the body. Any kind of wind - warm or cold - can blow away the moisture layer, replacing it with less humid, colder air that increases evaporative pressure on the skin (and eye) surface.
Kleyne's suggestions for maintaining indoor air humidity in winter: Purchase a humidity gauge (which sell for as low as $10.00). Install a room humidifier. Have lots of house plants and mist them frequently. Set out bowls of water. Put baffles over heating vents that blow directly onto people. Use passive ventilation to create air exchange with the outdoors (so pollutants and bacteria don't continually recirculate). Air exchange is accomplished by simply opening a window slightly. Air exchange is most important in the bathroom.
Air exchange is especially important in buildings with insulated walls and windows that are well sealed and designed for maximum heating and cooling efficiency.
Another important winter health strategy, according to Kleyne, is to keep the body well hydrated. The body be better able to withstand low humidity and exposure to indoor air contaminants than a dehydrated body. To hydrate the body, begin by drinking at least eight glasses of fresh water a day in addition to all other fluids. Taking lots of hot baths and showers also helps. And finally, says Kleyne, for dry skin and dry eyes, apply several times a day, a personal humidifying mist such as Nature's Tears® EyeMist® or Nature's Mist® skin moisture from Kleyne's Bio-Logic Aqua® Research.