It may come as a surprise to some, but indoor air quality can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental health concerns.
Where does all of this indoor air pollution come from? Building materials, furnishings, air fresheners, unvented or malfunctioning, furnaces, paints, cleaning products, care products, pesticides, and more. Some of the most common pollutants are known cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde or allergens like dander and dust mites.
Given that people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, it’s important to do what you can to reduce indoor air pollution and protect your kids and family. Cleaning up your indoor air is particularly important for children with allergies or asthma. These are the two most common chronic illnesses for kids in the US, and attacks are often triggered by indoor allergens, such as mold, dust, animal dander, and chemicals in everyday products.
Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
- Open a window. Even if it’s chilly outside, you should open a window for even five minutes a day to significantly decrease the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home.
- Buy safer products. Everything you bring into your home impacts your indoor air quality. Choose unscented products as much as possible. Let anything with a “new smell” air out in a well-ventilated space or outdoors.
- Maintain humidity below 50 percent. Dehumidifying is enormously important, many individuals (particularly asthmatics) are highly allergic to mildew and molds. Droplets of water on windows, walls, or pipes are a sign of humidity.
- Minimize pet dander. Vacuum using a machine with a HEPA filter, dust frequently, wash drapes and rugs regularly, wash bedding weekly.
- Don’t harbor dust mites. Microscopic dust mites and their droppings are a potent allergen and asthma trigger. One of the best ways to limit the amount of dust mites in your homes are to encase mattresses with impermeable covers (just be sure they’re PVC-free).
To read more about this topic check out these articles: