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Indoor Air Can Be Much More Dangerous than Outdoor Air

Posted on December 27, 2011
by Wendy Stackhouse

 

In a study of typical homes near the Arizona-Mexico border, scientists found 586 chemicals in the indoor air, 120 of which they couldn’t even identify.

Does that sound healthy to you?

Phthalates, the chemicals given off by plastics, were especially high, but they also found DDT, which has been banned in the US since 1972, and other pesticides.

Indoor air quality is partly a reflection of the outdoor air quality where you live, so some would say, “Move!” But that’s not necessarily a practical solution. If you choose to stay in your home, improve the indoor air by:

Choosing Products Carefully

    • Use exterior grade pressed wood products in construction for lower emissions from resins.
    • Ask about the formaldehyde content in new cabinets and furniture so that you can make smart choices.
    • Opt for solid wood whenever you can.
    • Better floor coverings are carpets made from wool or, better yet, solid wood or bamboo.
    • Look for low-VOC or no-VOC paint to use on interior walls.
    • Be careful about drapes, upholstery and mattresses, which can contain flame-retardant chemicals. There are other options today, especially mattresses made with wool or Kevlar materials.
    • Try an alternative to nonstick cookware—when you cook with nonstick pans, particles enter the air at high levels.
    • Switch to greener cleaning products like baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

Cleaning the Air

  • Use air conditioners or air filtration devices to clean particles out of your air.
  • Run a dehumidifier to prevent the growth of mold and spores entering your indoor environment.
  • Increase ventilation—be sure to open your windows 5-10 minutes each day, even in winter.
  • Get some houseplants! Many common plants clean formaldehyde and other toxins out of your and are easy to maintain and beautiful!
  • Replace your furnace filter.

 

Prevent Indoor Air Pollution

  • Vacuum frequently with a HEPA filter cleaner. Ordinary bag or bagless vacuums can actually make the air quality in your home worse.
  • Give up powders—talc stays airborne for a long time and can cause breathing problems.
  • Hang dry cleaning outside for a day or two before putting it in the closet or switch to a greener cleaner.

 

You know that great “new car smell?” Well, it’s full of chemicals that you really don’t want in your car or your home. We spend 90% of our time indoors. The air we breathe there is important!

AirTek Indoor Air Solutions offers many services to improve the indoor air in your home or commercial building including: commercial and residential duct cleaning,kitchen exhaust hood cleaning, dryer vent cleaning and power washing. Contact our experts for advice on any indoor air issue you have at your residence or commercial property!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek Indoor Air Solutions and our affiliate Alliance Environmental Group. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on environmental services like mold remediation, lead removal and pest control including bed bugs, Like us at Alliance Environmental on Facebook or follow Alliance on Twitter!

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