News How to Avoid Toxic Indoor Air

How to Avoid Toxic Indoor Air

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You spend most of your life indoors. While much of that time may be at an office where you have little or no control over, you can do something about the air quality in your home.

First, it’s important to get a grasp on what could be polluting the air in your home. The reality is, you can get the worst of both worlds (inside and indoors). In other words, outdoor pollutants can be a factor inside, along with the indoor-sourced irritants.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air can be as much as five times more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air problems can include pet dander, dust mites, mold, and fumes from gas appliances.

So, what can you do to ensure your indoor air is as clean as possible?

Minimize Carpet

Have you had carpet in your home for a while? Consider a remodeling project, and rip it out! Even if you keep a reasonably clean household, carpet is a home within a home… for dirt, fungus, pet dander, dust mites, etc. That can all lead to asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

Besides, hardwoods, tile and laminate flooring are easier to clean.

Cleaning Products with Dirty Secrets

You may think you’re sanitizing your countertops, but some cleaning products may be doing more harm than good.

Some cleaning products, including those with chlorine and ammonia, contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be toxic. And it’s not just cleaning products. Deodorizer, paint and cosmetic products are just a few more to consider. The National Institutes of Health provides a thorough list of products you should watch out for.

Monitor Humidity Levels

Keep your home’s humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. Why? Mold and dust mites thrive in moist environments. Keeping humidity levels down will those and additional allergens at a minimum. Air conditioning in the warmer months and a dehumidifier can help you get the job done.

Fresh Scents, Naturally

If you’re going to keep your home smelling fresh, whether it’s after a pungent meal, or you just like certain fragrances, you’re better off using natural ingredients. Synthetic fragrances air fresheners emit chemicals. Why use a synthetic chemical that is replicating something you can use naturally like lemon, limes and oranges?

Increase Ventilation

Modern homes are constructed with really tight insulation to keep indoor temperatures normalized. Unfortunately that also means toxins can remain trapped in your home. One of the easiest things you can do? Open a window. If the weather is cold where you are, do it for a 30 minutes at a time. A little bit goes a long way.

Also read: Can Air Filters Ease Allergies and Asthma?

How to Avoid Toxic Indoor Air
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

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