What has an effect on your health in your everyday life? Some would simply say smog, others might say the stress of driving a long commute while many would say drinking and smoking. While all of these may contribute to the decline in one’s health on a daily basis, there is something that hits much closer to home. Literally!
One of the most overlooked health factors in our daily lives is the indoor air quality in our homes. While we may breathe in exhaust from cars while we are outside or be exposed to too many sun rays, being in our home makes up close to forty-five percent of our day on average. That’s almost half of our time spent indoors and that does not include indoor work environments such as office buildings, warehouses, etc.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution as one of its top five health risks. It also finds that poor air quality in our homes is often time two to five times greater than outdoor air pollutants. Symptoms often include fatigue, headaches, dizziness as well as irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. What’s crazy is that these symptoms can occur after being exposed to a home with an indoor air quality problem only one time. Long Term side effects can include respiratory issues, heart disease and cancer.
This is why it is critical to not only maximize the clean air in your home but also prevent long term illness from common things around your house. Here are four steps to help you improve the indoor air quality of your home.
- Upgrade your furniture if it was made before 2006. A chemical named Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) used as a flame retardant is found in much of the pre 2006 furniture. Opt for a certified organic furnishing rated piece of furniture that does not contain PBDEs.
- Avoid candles and store bought air fresheners. Even though they make our homes smell good, they release toxins into the air and affect the indoor air quality dramatically. Opt for a DIY all organic air freshener instead.
- Get rid of your archaic inkjet printer. Inkjet printers use a fine mist of ink to print and that mist goes directly into your air. Inkjet printer ink contain glycol ethers. With long term exposure, these chemicals have been linked to reproductive and developmental problems. Get rid of them!
- Wood burning fireplaces are nice but also pose a threat to your indoor air quality. Even if you cannot smell the smoke, there is still a risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Remember that chemical is scentless and flavorless.
These tips are a mere fraction of things you can do to improve your the air quality in your home. Please stay tuned for more helpful indoor air quality solutions.