How Your Home Is Making You Sick — And What You Can Do About It

Improving The Air Quality In Your Home

home-interior
Research suggests
that indoor air quality can be even more polluted than outside, which puts you and your family in danger of becoming sick. From mold and toxic materials to dust and outdoor pollutants, there are several factors to tend to if you want to run a safe and healthy household. Here are some of the top tactics to implement into your home maintenance routine.

Keep a Clean (and Green) House

Cleaning your house on a regular basis can improve the air quality while keeping pet hair, dust, and outdoor pollutants at bay, but don’t contribute to the problem by using toxic products to do the job. While there are several green versions on the market, you can also whip up a simple DIY version using household ingredients such as white vinegar, peroxide, baking soda, lemons, and essential oils. Invest in a quality vacuum cleaner that’s known for thoroughly picking up allergens and pet hair. Make it a household rule that everyone removes their shoes at the door to prevent harmful bacteria, toxic waste, and pesticides from being spread around your abode.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

freshairImproving air quality can be as simple as opening the windows, but other tactics include keeping the humidity between 30 and 50 percent to limit the growth of mold and the presence of dust mites, regularly changing the air filters in your heating and cooling system, avoiding synthetic fragrances (think room sprays, laundry products, and candles), adding air-filtering plants like English Ivy and snake plants, and making smokers go outside. Just keep in mind that doctors warn that harmful toxins can still be brought back into the home via clothes, skin, and hair.

Guard Against Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas (a silent killer) that could leak into your home from gas appliances, such as gas stoves and hot-water heaters. Make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector, preferably one with a long battery life and a loud warning sound for those with hearing problems, to keep you and your family safe. Also, consider bringing in professionals to test your home if you’re concerned there might be a problem.

Tie all the above elements together by investing in a quality air purifier to eliminate harmful pollutants and unwanted odors from your home. Even if you’re making an effort to remove toxic materials from your home, it can be difficult to completely avoid doing so. An air purifier works as a backup system to ensure each breath you take is as pure as possible.

Avoid Toxin-Laden Materials

In order to have a toxin-free home, you’ve simply got to avoid toxic materials. For example:

• Use paints and finishes that don’t emit toxins (VOCs.) There are an abundance of low- and zero-VOC paints available on the market today that don’t tie off harmful gases.

• Purchase furniture that doesn’t release formaldehyde, so avoid particle board, pressed wood, plywood, and medium density fiberboard. Opt for whole wood, glass, metal, or chrome. Avoid cushions and mattresses made from polyurethane foam, plastic, polyester, acrylic, or polyvinyl chloride.

• Be wary of clothing and linens that contain toxic chemicals in order to make them flame-retardant. It is possible to remove the chemicals by soaking the items in one cup of lemon juice per gallon of water for 48 hours or more.

• Choose a mattress made from natural cotton or natural latex.

• Avoid synthetic carpeting as it has been found to release toxic gases that contribute to poor indoor air quality. Opt for a natural fiber version instead. Consider replacing synthetic hardwood floors with healthier alternatives such as bamboo, cork, ceramic, terra cotta, or porcelain. If you go the wood route, pre-treated it before it’s installed — but not with polyurethane.

In Conclusion

It might seem impossible, but there’s a chance the air inside your home contains a number of pollutants that are harmful to your help. However, don’t let this fact frighten you. By following the steps detailed in this article, you can make major improvements to the overall quality of the air you breathe on a daily basis. It might take some work, but before long, you and your family can take a deep, fresh breath and sigh in relief — without worrying about your health.

Article by Charlotte Meier, homesafetyhub.org

See author’s Resource Links, bottom of page

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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**Based on internet claims as of February 2018.


Author’s Resource Links