The majority of the global population suffers from headaches,and according to the World Health Organization, headaches affect about 50% of the world’s adults.
Headache is a stubborn pain in the head that can range from mild to serious and can last from 30 minutes to a week. It typically occurs on either side of the head and may include areas such as the forehead and back. .
Research suggests that there is a strong relationship between toxins in polluted air and headaches and that chronic headaches are increasing. Indoor air quality is also an additional contributor.
Indoor air that causes headaches includes:
1- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): are a generic term used to describe several toxic chemicals released to indoor air, such as formaldehyde, benzene (carcinogens), propylene glycol and acetone. According to the Environment Protection Agency, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are considered to cause sinusitis, brain and nervous system damage, and therefore headaches.Common sources of VOC emissions include paint, treated wood, furniture, detergents, construction materials, office equipment, etc.
2- Nanoparticles (PM) :Nanoparticles are so small particles that they can penetrate deep into the lungs, causing damage.They can be liberated at home by combustion reactions, for example, by the use of fireplaces, particularly wood. Other sources of nanoparticles include printers, faxes, photocopiers and other electronics. Based on a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, prolonged exposure to nanoparticles can exacerbate chronic headaches.
3- Mold and allergens : Many houses and offices offer an ideal environment for the growth of toxic molds and other common allergens such as mites and pollen. Constant exposure to these allergens results in chronic sinusitis and therefore severe headaches. What is even more troubling is that certain types of mould contain hazardous particles called mycotoxins. Besides damaging the liver and kidneys, mycotoxins have been shown to cause chronic inflammation and severe headaches.
4- Copper: Heavy metals have devastating effects on human health because they multiply the toxic effects of one another on the body. One study demonstrated that high levels of copper are likely the most common biochemical cause of migraine. Copper toxicity is an accumulation of copper in the body, and as it is concentrated in the brain, it can affect levels of neurotransmitters and can irritate soft tissues. Sources of copper exposure include household water pipes, copper kitchenware, dental trimmings, vitamins, food pesticides and contraception.
5- Sewage gases: Sewage emissions can cause headaches. This unpleasant odour contains sulphur dioxide, nitric oxide, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide.
Treatment and protection
The most common treatment for a headache is pain relief, and there is also a generic over-the-counter pain drug. But prevention is often the best treatment.
These things can go a long way:
- Improve air quality through the elimination of the source of pollution.
- Do No smoke or permit smoking in the house.
- Increase the amount of fresh air in the house by adjusting or replacing gas cookers with electrical cookers.
- Make sure exhaust ventilators are working.
- Set up carbon monoxide alarms in your home and maintain a dry indoor environment to reduce exposure to mould.