Saturday, May 8, 2010

Breathing Easy At Home

You know that air pollution is bad for the planet. But what happens to the air inside your home? According to Virginia Sole-Smith, your home should be a haven, but for many people, including allergy sufferers and young children, the average house can b a lot less welcoming. New studies show that the air you breathe inside your home can be more polluted than outdoors. While your hoe may look spick-and-span, its air quality is not something you can see. The sources of pollution just might surprise you:

1. Off-Gassers: Carpets, cabinets, furniture can release chemicals, including toxic formaldehyde. Standard-formula paints include volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Skip the chemicals like toilet bowl deodorizers and moth crystals when possible. Opt for low-or-no formaldehyde by asking if there is safer alternatives whenever buying new furnishings, carpets, or cabinetry for your home. Whenever you paint a room or purchased a new sofa, open up the windows and run a fan for a day or two.

2. Scents and Smoke: Scented products from candles to cleaners, can set of allergies. Fireplace and cooking smoke contain pollutants. Send smoke outside and only grill outside. Go fragrance-free unscented products. Only use greener cleaning products like baking soda and white vinegar.

3. Molds: Molds can grow in damp area, including air ducts and under sinks. Check the humidity levels in your home. Find and fix leaks in plumbing, windows, and roofs. Use exhaust fans to eliminate mold-causing moisture build up.

4. Dust: Vacuuming and dusting can release clouds of particles. Dust carefully and have your least-allergic family member do the dusting. Fight mites and protect your bedding from dust mites by encasing your mattress and pillows in a protective cover. Remove your shoes when entering the house to keep dirt, pollen, and pollutants out. Consider air filters because 70% of American households with central air, try forced-air filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting value of 8 or higher.


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