Do you reside in an apartment complex, duplex, condo, or other living area where ventilation is shared? A joint living space quite often means that you are also sharing the air you breathe with your neighbors. Keep in mind that whatever odors, chemicals, and compounds your neighbors are introducing into their home air, are also being introduced into your home air. Many people are concerned with how smoking marijuana affects indoor air quality, especially in dwellings with young children and the elderly. Learn more about how this drug may be affecting your indoor air quality.
Marijuana is a commonly abused recreational drug. Some states allow for limited amounts of marijuana to be used regularly. Possession, use and sale is illegal in most states and countries and highly regulated where use is allowed. There are 483 identified compounds associated with marijuana. The main active ingredient in marijuana is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is not considered a VOC since it is too heavy. Many of the other compounds found in marijuana are commonly identified with other substances such as cleaners, plants and trees. Marijuana smoke produces a tar which is chemically like that found in tobacco smoke. Over fifty known carcinogens have been identified in marijuana smoke including; nitrosamines, reactive aldehydes, and polycylic hydrocarbons.
Although it is first introduced into the air as smoke, marijuana settles out of the air and can be cleaned off non-porous surfaces or ventilated from the air. There aren’t any commercially available, affordably priced testing kits that detect the presence of marijuana in the air. If you suspect that your neighbors are using marijuana, it is a good idea to take steps towards protecting your home air.
Adequate ventilation and regular cleaning will eliminate any residual marijuana from areas that have been exposed to limited amounts of marijuana smoke. Open windows if possible, run ceiling fans, and use a high-quality air purifier. The longer the exposure time, the longer the chemical compounds will linger and off gas into the air. Contact authorities if you suspect illegal use of any drugs.
You may also want to speak with your building’s property manager or landlord to see what else can be done in an effort to keep your home air healthy. Building managers typically ask people that live in shared spaces to follow a set of rules and regulations that may provide protection against tobacco or marijuana smoke. Don’t be afraid to take action when it comes to protecting the quality of your indoor air.