5 Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
What's in Your Home?
We know you value clean air, so we're letting you know about 5 surprising sources of air pollution that might be in your everyday life, along with what you can do about them. Awareness, ventilation and air purification will go a long way in making sure that these sources don't sneak up on you.
Steam from your boiling pasta and broccoli should warrant as much attention as the steam you release in your bathroom after showering. Like in the bathroom, you should ventilate the kitchen after cooking by simply opening the windows or doors. Just a few moments of "dry time" can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew. A side benefit of ventilation is that it also helps clear out any nitrogen dioxide emitted by gas stoves.
Take it a step further with an air purifier for mold, especially if you think you might already have some in your home.
Carpets trap dirt and dust, and when we tread on the lush warmth of a carpet, we're simultaneously kicking up old particles that have been trapped there. In fact, a particle reader will show drastic increases in particulates after you simply walk through a carpeted room! Shake out your rugs once a week and don't forget to vacuum regularly with a high efficiency vacuum cleaner to decrease the volume of stirred pollutants.
Want to vacuum less? Keep dust out of the air with an air purifier specially chosen to tackle dust.
If you love cooking, then non-stick pans make that joy so much more easy and convenient. Take precautions, though, when using Teflon, as the non-stick surfaces use a chemical called Polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE), which emits toxic fumes when heated on "high". We suggest sticking to low heat when using Teflon-coated pots and pans, and when it's time to turn up the flames, use an alternative such as stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic, glass or copper.
Your Dry Cleaning
The chemicals used for dry cleaning get carried into your home and sit silently, but not passively, in your closet. Use a "green" dry cleaner whenever possible to negate the pollutants from your well-starched collars, or allow your dry-cleaned clothes time to air out in a well ventilated area.
Formaldehyde is a chemical biocide that is commonly used in making some furniture, cabinets, and even walls, especially of the older, cheaper variety. Breathing large amounts of formaldehyde can make you feel sick, giving you a sore throat, itchy eyes, and nosebleeds. If you think you are being exposed to formaldehyde, make sure to take the proper steps to ventilate your space and purify your air, as well as checking in with your physician.
An air purifier with a large bed of activated carbon can absorb formaldehyde, and there are several units available, like the AllerAir F600, that include a specialized additive that specifically targets the noxious chemical.