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What's In the Air You're Breathing?

We depend on the air around us to breathe. It’s a concept that’s foreign to absolutely nobody on Earth. If we don’t have air to breathe, we can’t survive, plain and simple. However, while we might think that this precious life-giving gas is inert and harmless, the truth is there are plenty of things that could be in the air that cause us harm. To make matters worse, these things in the air are often invisible, have no scent, no feel, and offer no other clues to their presence.

If you fall ill or suffer serious health consequences as a result of these substances, you may have the right to compensation, and that means you should speak with a Martin County injury attorney as soon as possible. Exposure to toxic substances, especially without warning, could be extraordinarily dangerous and lead to a potentially life-changing impact.

Here are four things that could be in the air you’re breathing and you likely wouldn’t even know it.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide can be found anywhere something burns. It can be something as simple as a candle, normal as a water heater, or every-day as a car engine. However, this colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas can quickly turn lethal in larger doses. This is why any open flames need to be properly ventilated and fresh air in constant supply in these areas.

Believe it or not, water heaters are one of the leading sources of carbon monoxide. Most water heaters use natural gas as their energy source, which creates carbon monoxide when it’s burned to create the heat for warming the water. Your water heater should have an exhaust escape flume that’s properly attached. If it’s not, this dangerous gas could be escaping into your home.

Asbestos Fibers

Asbestos was extraordinarily common in buildings up until the late 1970s, when studies began to show just how dangerous it could be. It was used as insulation in buildings constructed between the 1930s and 1950s, as well as an ingredient in paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. If you have older popcorn ceilings, there’s a chance it could contain asbestos as well.

However, asbestos tends to release microscopic fibers into the air when it’s disturbed. You can’t see them, smell them, or even feel them entering your lungs, but when they do, they stick. When they stick, they cause a potentially fatal health condition known as mesothelioma. Most asbestos sources have been eradicated over the years, but if you live in an older home or work in an older office building there may still be a chance you could still be exposed to this potentially dangerous substance. Removing asbestos permanently is an extraordinarily difficult task.

Bacteria & Viruses

Bacteria and viruses don’t simply live on things like door handles and countertops. While hard surfaces have a much greater density of germs and pathogens, airborne bacteria and viruses are also a possibility. And it’s distinctly a possibility in areas of high population density. While most airborne bacteria isn’t anything more than things like the common cold or maybe the flu, some serious illnesses can be transported this way. This is one of the most important reasons why offices and workplaces will encourage those who are ill to stay away from the office at all costs!

Dangerous Chemicals

Have you ever noticed that things like gasoline, permanent markers, or spray paint tend to have a really strong smelt to them? This is by design—the smell isn’t natural, but added after the fact to alert you to the presence of a potentially dangerous chemical that is being released into the air from this substance. This is why inhaling large amounts of these odors isn’t good for you—more often than not it’s a substance that you can’t smell or see that’s going to actually cause you harm.

To make matters even more difficult, the substances may still persist even long after the smells have faded away. And they can be found even in common household items, such as cleaning fluids. If you’re going to be using these substances, it’s strongly advised you wear breathing protection.

If you’ve suffered serious illness or injury as a result of exposure to a toxic substance in the air, speak with the skilled Martin County personal injury lawyers at Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC by calling (866) 675-4427 today.