Indoor Air Quality
When we were told we were going to learn about Indoor Air Quality, I was moderately clueless. I know what those words literally mean, but I wasn’t sure what the implications of those words really are for the safety of my family.
We had a chance to speak with pediatrician, Dr. Arthur Lavin, and he discussed what causes poor indoor air quality and how we can keep the indoor air clean.
Perhaps the most interesting fact that we talked about (and that I hadn’t really thought about) was the difference between our indoor air and outdoor air. Dr. Lavin explained that outdoor air is like the ocean — it’s vast, has many substances, and is constantly changing. Our indoor air is more like a box — fewer substances and less change is possible. He gave an example of dropping food coloring into a glass of water. So, my 8 year old and I had a science lesson:
Because we live in a box (the average human spends 80% of their life indoors!!), we need to free this box of the pollutants with ventilation. If we don’t, we end up having too many of the nasty toxins and pollutants that will spoil our clean air supply. After all, we need oxygen to breathe. Without oxygen, we only have 4 minutes to live. Some of the pollutants can strip our hemoglobin (oxygen-transporting element of our blood) of the oxygen it needs. We have to protect that oxygen.
Dr. Lavin provided six ways to improve the air quality in our houses:
- proper ventilation
- be sure the combustion of anything burning is complete
- control the levels of pet dander
- eliminate any and all tobacco
- have house plants
- avoid VOCs
My biggest question was how to make sure that I allow for ventilation in my house. The easy answer? Open the windows and use a fan.
Aaron and I are usually pretty good about opening the front door and screens when it’s pretty out. And a couple of weeks ago, we learned from Cara with Seventh Generation about opening the windows for at least 5 minutes a week in order to provide this ventilation. You can bet that I will be making this a weekly — if not daily — habit.
I was also very proud to be able to say that I already have some house plants. While this may not seem like some awesome feat (as most people have plants in their homes), these two plants and I go way back. One, I received when my daughter was born — eight years ago! I’m proud to be able to say that without even realizing it, I was helping to improve the air quality in my family’s home.
As Mamavation Moms, we were blessed to receive mattresses for two of our children from Naturepedic. Naturepedic creates beds and bedding that is free of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These VOCs contribute to the pollution Dr. Lavin mentioned. Check out my video where I talk about the new beds we received:
This past week was another successful week in the realm of weight loss and my health overhaul. I lost another 2 pounds bringing my total weight loss since my application to 14 pounds! I have pants that fit better, and I’ve even been catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and feeling pretty proud to see the “old me” again.
Won’t you join us on Monday to learn more from Dr. Lavin and to hear more about our success? Lori, Jessie, and I sure want to see you there!