This weekend I was dragged along to an outlet mall. If my first statement wasn’t a good enough clue, then I’ll just come out and say it, I’m not the shopping type.
The shops lined a massive parking lot, and the whole mall was pretty busy. As we pulled in there was a funny smell in the air I recognized very well. I used to load that smell fifty pounds at a time into people’s cars at my old job, it was asphalt sealant. The smell was fairly overpowering, the parking lot had clearly been redone the night before.
It was amazing what a relief it continuously felt to enter a store and get out of the parking lot just to get away from the smell. and what a headache it was to go back outside. We were more than aware that the bad smell was accompanied with bad chemicals. Despite my usual tendency to hang out outside, while people get their shopping done, I found myself accompanying them into the store.
It was clear which store’s were running better air cleaners. Some stores still smelled of the parking lot, but others managed to smell fresh and clean despite only a door seperating its air from the parking lot’s air. We forget about air quality so easily, but when it’s staring us in the face we remember not to take it for granted. I’m fortunate to say I survived the shopping trip, and I survived the parking lot smells and chemicals, and have returned with another reminder of the importance of indoor air quality.