8 Little Known Ways That Could Harm the Lungs

What is the most harmful thing you can do to your lungs? Most people would say smoking cigarettes, which is right. However, this is not the only threat to lung health and breathing properly.

Dr. Inese

General practitioner


This type of fungus releases tiny particles called spores into the air. A person suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, who has a weak immune system or is allergic to mold, can develop serious lung infections. They are also dangerous for perfectly healthy people — in this case, the intoxication will occur more slowly. Mold is also detrimental not only to the lungs but also to the skin and digestive system.

Solution. Keep the humidity level in the house normal (no more than 60 %), fix any leaks, avoid compost heaps and lawns with grass clippings. Regularly treat areas where mold can grow with special products. If mold has already appeared, try to destroy not only the mold but also the cause of its growth.


This radioactive gas is especially dangerous for residents of low-rise buildings because it enters the room from the ground. In the US, radon poisoning is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Since this gas is odorless, it can only be detected with instruments. Radon accumulates exclusively indoors, and some special tools and services can be used to reduce radon levels.

Solution. When you move into a new house, study a map of radon levels in your area. If you realize that your new address is in the risk group, buy a special measuring device or call specialists to make sure your new home is safe.


No matter how thoroughly you clean, dust, insect feces, mold, and toxic gases accumulate in the nap of carpets. They get into the air when you vacuum the carpet or walk on it. The chemicals used to make and clean the carpet also contribute to lung damage.

Solution. The best thing to do is to give up carpeting, especially if you have allergies in the house. If you're not willing to do that, vacuum 3 times per week and have annual wet cleanings.


For fireworks to be colorful, various metals such as barium, strontium, copper, cesium, and more are added to the gunpowder. If you stand close to the launch site, you can inhale them and provoke asthma and other lung problems.

Solution. Enjoy the beauty from afar, and wear a mask with an air filter if you find yourself directly in the thick of things.


There is such a thing as "baker's asthma." People who constantly work with flour inhale its particles — which, over time, has an extremely negative effect on the lungs.

Solution. Don't get carried away with baking. By the way, it's good for weight loss, too.


Particles of bird feathers and feces getting into the air can cause allergic reactions and inflammatory processes in the lungs. If you begin to cough, pant, or feel short of breath after being around a bird, you should be alert.

Solution. Do not keep many pet birds in the house at once, and do not allow them in the room where you sleep or spend a lot of time. Monitor your condition, and see your doctor if you experience the above symptoms.

Humidifiers and air conditioners

These are extremely useful devices, unless they have a fungus in them. In that case, they become a deadly weapon, spreading fungus spores into the air, from where it enters a person's lungs and causes irreversible changes.

Solution. Clean and replace home appliances regularly.


Paraffin candles sold in every supermarket release chemical compounds into the air as they burn, which, if inhaled, can negatively affect the lungs. Prolonged exposure to burning scented candles is equal to prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke in terms of harm to the lungs.

Solution. Use candles only occasionally and try to choose fragrance-free products or those with natural fragrances (essential oils) or a soy base.

31 January 2022

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