27 Jun Is Your Indoor Air Polluted?
The air inside your home may be more polluted than the outdoor air in an industrialized city, putting your family at risk for health problems. You know about radon gas, mold, and carbon monoxide, but here are other sources of pollutants and some actions you can take to address them.
Source: New carpeting. That “new carpet smell” actually consists of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) such as formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene that can cause headaches and respiratory diseases.
Action: Buy carpeting certified “Green Label Plus.” Before new carpet is installed, ask to have it unrolled and aired-out in a space (like a warehouse) for 72 hours. If that’s not possible, try to stay elsewhere for the first 72 hours after installation.
Source: Old carpeting. It’s filled with household dust and particles you track in from outdoors with your body, shoes and clothing.
Action: Invest in a quality HEPA vacuum cleaner. Consider having your home air ducts professionally cleaned.
Source: Cleaning products. Products such as chlorine bleach, rug cleaners, ammonia, paraffin, and even dryer sheets also release VOCs.
Action: Use natural products such as hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, and baking soda. Look for candles made of beeswax or vegetable oils. And don’t accept dry-cleaned clothes with a strong chemical odor.
Source: Gas kitchen stoves. They emit nitrogen dioxide and need proper venting.
Action: Make sure the kitchen – and the rest of the house – is well ventilated.