When we refer to the quality of the the air we breathe we often refer to the pollutants in in the context of being outside, but did you realize that often the air we breathe outside is better quality than the air we breathe inside? Unfortunately in many cases we are totally unaware that the things we bring into our home on a daily basis could actually be reducing our indoor air quality. In fact studies have shown that things such as candles, printers, and even shoes can fill your rooms with harmful contaminants
You may decide to replace your carpet to actually reduce pollutants, however, the adhesives used can often be toxic to the air we breathe. If you are arranging an installation request formaldehyde-free adhesives with low volatile organic compound (VoC) levels. Once your new carpet has been installed try and keep the windows open for a few days and try not spend too much time in the room during that time.
Let’s face it we all need and use cleaning products daily but some can contain VoCs that impact indoor air quality. These compounds can cause symptoms like headaches, dizziness and nausea, as well as long-term health effects due to prolonged exposure. With so many natural and eco-friendly cleaning products available at your local supermarket it is easy to make the swap. When using, even your eco-friendly cleaning products, it is advisable to use them in well-ventilated areas and keep the fans running throughout the cleaning period.
Who doesn’t love lighting a candle to create a cozy ambiance or add some scent to your room or bathroom. Beware though, if that candle is made from paraffin–as most candles are–you’re potentially harming your health. Researchers at South Carolina State University found that paraffin candles are linked to liver damage, neurological problems, and leukemia. Try and find 100 percent soy candles, they can burn at a slower rate and emit less soot.
If not adjusted properly, the equipment used to heat your home and cook your food can produce carbon monoxide, especially gas stoves. There are obvious dangers with carbon monoxide poisoning which can lower the air quality and make you sick. It is therefore advisable to ensure that all types of equipment are checked regularly to ensure they are not emitting dangerous fumes.
You don’t have to run a home office to have a printer. These days most homes have one, especially if you have children. Unfortunately your little printer sitting quietly in the corner can spray around lots of micro-particles of ink, toner, and ozone, a lung irritant. A recent Australian study found that about one-third of printers are “high emitters,” which means they churn out as many harmful airborne particles as you’d find on a high traffic street. Try and set your printer up in a well-ventilated area and stand at least 10 feet away from it during a print cycle. Also try and print in black-and-white, the color ink produces more noxious debris.
The name would suggest that we are “freshening” the air when we spray our favorite fragrance liberally, however, products used to eliminate household odors can affect indoor air quality. Once again it is always advisable to find natural odor removers, such as baking soda, vinegar and citrus.
Walking into your home without thoroughly rubbing your shoes over a durable outside mat will mean that potentially you are dragging in lead dust, paint flecks, fertilizers, and animal waste, to name but a few! Coconut-husk mats are the best types of mat for dislodging the nasty stuff and then once inside, leave your shoes on a cloth mat by the front door.