Tips to Remove Household Chemicals
The air inside your home could be more dangerous to your health than the air outside, according to a recent survey from the American Lung Association. And to make matters worse, Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors! Follow these tips to minimize your exposure.
Tips for Minimizing Your Chemical Exposure
The most effective means of protecting yourself from harmful chemicals is avoidance. If you can remove things that produce chemicals from your environment then you are way ahead of the crowd when it comes to chemical safety.
Chemicals are found in everything and many are harmful in even the tiniest quantities. Use these tips to avoid potentially harmful exposure to the chemicals in your environment.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in the home to detect high levels of this odorless and potentially deadly gas. Only a small portion of the population uses carbon monoxide detectors, but these cheap household sensors could save your life or the life of a loved one.
- Replace common household cleaning products that have high levels of VOCs with safer alternatives; many common cleaners have environmentally safe substitutes that may be available instead.
- Avoid air fresheners and cleaning products with fragrances. Most of these fragrances are synthetic and only mimic the familiar smells you love, but are nowhere near as safe.
- Store and microwave food in glass or ceramic containers, rather than plastic. Under high or prolonged storage, harmful chemicals from plastics can enter your food.
- Store firewood in the garage or outdoors, rather than near the fireplace or anywhere else in the home. Drying firewood can release mold spores and toxins, which can easily contaminate an entire house.
- Keep trees and shrubs at least three feet away from the perimeter of the home. Tree and shrub roots can give surface water an easy route into a basement, which can lead to mold growth.
For Consistent Concerns
- Open doors and windows, and use fans to improve ventilation. Sometimes you just need to clear the air, and opening the windows is the best way to do that.
- Use a chemical air purifier for ongoing chemical issues.
Indoor air pollution is one of the five most urgent environmental problems facing the United States, according to the EPA.
"With all the attention surrounding dangerous levels of smog, ozone and other pollutants in the air we breathe outdoors, many lose sight of the fact that these same pollutants — as well as pollen and other allergens — can easily find their way indoors", said Mark LaLiberte, building expert and technical advisor to the American Lung Association's Health House Project.
Source: American Lung Association's Health House Project.