IS YOUR HOMEMAKING YOU SICK?
FUN FACT: Did you know the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) projects that indoor air has the probability of being 2 – 5 times MORE polluted than the outdoors?
Many people really don’t realize the massive importance of taking care of your home’s indoor air quality. There are common & well known sources of indoor air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, second-hand smoke & radon. In addition to these, however, there are lesser known sources of common indoor air pollutants people don’t think about.
One of the most surprising pollutants known as ‘ozone’ actually comes from air purifiers or common indoor air pollutants. Hundreds if not thousands of dollars go into investing in these gadgets to help kill mold and bacteria. Little do we know, that these “shock treatments” to the air are actually filled with enormous amounts of ozone which yes, may be an effective treatment, but the reality of it is health officials have disagreed. Ever heard of smog? It’s definition from Google reads, “fog or haze combined with smoke and other atmospheric pollutants.” Ozone is actually the chief component of smog which can trigger asthma attacks, cause coughing fits and even scar lung tissue among other health problems.
3 COMMON INDOOR AIR POLLUTANTS
Paint. The strong chemically balanced solution paint is, it can release a dangerous amount of organic compounds over long periods of time. If these are inhaled extendedly, it can lead to serious health problems. Keep in mind to battle these problems, always use ventilation & open as many windows as you can. Have fans blowing etc… You can also select low-VOC or no-VOC paint to begin with. This includes small paints just used for canvas painting and other substances with strong smelling chemicals.
Carpets. Think about the manufacturing of carpets. Sometimes when you open a fresh new carpet it has that funky manufacturing smell.. that’s because they use certain chemicals to manufacture carpets that are dangerous - like formaldehyde. This chemical can irritate respiratory systems dramatically. Keep that in mind next time you get yourself a new carpet! Maybe air it out outside for an hour or so OR vacuum it really well.
Cleaning Products. Antibiotic pesticide and chlorine are two VERY potent and often toxic ingredients and guess what…. Many off-the-shelf household cleaning solutions are filled with them.
Now that you know about many toxins here is some advice on how to reduce them.
Toxins are sneaky. They can be hiding anywhere and all throughout your home. One of the first important places to look is the kitchen. Think about your food containers, water and even foods you are eating. Obviously, water is crucial to live, but not everyone realizes how harmful tap water can be. Sometimes, runoff water can run through waste encountering many toxins in the ground which will eventually make it’s way through the systems of humans, animals and even plants causing harm. This is where investing in a high quality water filter will be worth it. Get one that doesn’t just reduce the harmful toxins, but eliminates them.
Water bottles can also pose another threat when it comes to concerns of toxins. Bottles of water (depending on the brand) can contain harmful amounts of the toxin bisphenol A (BPA), which is an endocrine disrupter, AKA it blocks natural hormones from behaving properly. There are many side effects of being exposed to BPA, such as the mimicry of female hormonal estrogen which upsets normal processes of development for growing babies and young children & the functions necessary for maintaining an adult body. The best way to avoid this is to simply drink out of glass or stainless steel water bottles.
Pesticides. Many foods are sprayed by pesticides. If the produce and grains aren’t cleaned afterwards, we just may be putting these pesticides into our own mouths. In theory, pesticides are great because they protect the ground grown foods we eat from fungi and pests, but in practice this can also be harmful to our bodies. A way you can avoid this is by buying organic foods as much as possible. Yes I know, organic can be expensive! So in this case with organic produce being unattainable – go for vigorous washing before eating normal store bought food.
Perfumes. Colognes. Air fresheners. These all smell AMAZING – but are unfortunately full of harmful toxins. To reduce these, try essential oils instead! Essential oils give plants' distinctive smells, protect them and also aid in plant pollination. They have many other significant uses such as food preparation, health-care practices & even beauty treatments!
Regarding air fresheners, they also have essential oil diffusers. These are awesome because there are so many different types and looks for you to choose from and they are easy to use PLUS smell fabulous. Make sure to buy one that has an auto shut-off feature!
A very important way to reduce toxins in your home is through the use of plants. There are several types of plants that have air purifying properties. Some of them include peace lilies, which will flower during the summer; spider plants, which are very hardy and easy to grow; and snake plants, which are hard to kill, making them great for me to buy… ha! Some of the harmful toxins these plants remove are benzene, ammonia & formaldehyde.
For our final point, always remember one of the best ways to purify your air is to consistently change your air filters when needed! This will not only help the life of your HVAC system, but will help you and your family breathe clean air. If you have small (thin) air filters, those typically need to be changed every 3-4 weeks. The thicker & larger filters can be changed every 2-3 months.
Hopefully these toxin-removing helpful hints are able to aid you in de-polluting your home.
Sometimes, all you need is fresh air. Make your home a place that can give that to you.