The Shocking Link Between Household Products and Your Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air pollution is a common problem in homes, particularly those lacking good ventilation. But many homeowners are unaware of how many pollutants come from their everyday household products.
Make a few simple changes, and it’s possible to improve your indoor air quality, reducing the likelihood of harmful chemicals damaging your health.
Non-Stick Teflon Cookware
If you love convenience, chances are you have non-stick cookware in your kitchen. Teflon makes washing up easier with less scrubbing.
However, Teflon has a dangerous secret that not many people know.
The black coating contains a compound called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This compound is harmful to the environment and your body.
Heating Teflon pans to a very high heat releases toxic fumes that cause headaches, chills, and body aches.
Prevent these fumes from polluting your indoor air by cooking over lower heat and ventilating your kitchen. Discard any Teflon cookware with scratches, peeling, or chips.
Crafting is a popular hobby and a great way to boost your creativity. If you have children, it’s the perfect activity to keep them busy.
Most parents choose non-toxic craft supplies for their children. Yet despite being marked non-toxic, materials like glue, marker pens, and paint still release harmful chemicals into the air.
When crafting, keep exposure to chemical-based products to a minimum. Crafting is safer when enjoyed outdoors, especially if using aerosols or spray paints.
Love a clean and tidy house? Housework may be a chore, but there’s no better feeling than when you have your home looking spick and span.
But consider this — most household cleaning products leave harmful chemicals lingering in the air that you and your family breathe in throughout the day.
The sprays and disinfectants you use in your home contain high numbers of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemical gasses cause various health issues, including headaches and throat irritation.
If you want to avoid high levels of VOCs contaminating your air, try using more environmentally friendly cleaning products like baking soda, vinegar, or plain old hot water.
Scented Candles, Diffusers and Air Fresheners
Cleaning products aren’t the only dangerous items hiding in your cupboards. If you love a fresh-smelling home, your air fresheners like candles, potpourri, sprays, and diffusers also contain high levels of VOCs.
These VOCs include a variety of chemicals that can damage your health, including formaldehyde, benzene, and acetaldehyde.
What’s more, manufacturers don’t have to list all the ingredients, making it challenging to know what chemicals your air freshener contains.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to put up with a smelly home. Instead, try using a range of natural scents like flowers or herbs.
Log Burners and Open Fireplaces
What’s more comforting on a cold winter’s night than sitting in front of a real fire. Watching the flicker of flames is the perfect way to unwind.
It might seem that the smoke is heading up the chimney, but the truth is that lots of tiny smoke particles escape into the atmosphere polluting your indoor air.
Log burners trap the smoke more efficiently, but they release toxins into the air each time you open the door to add wood.
But you don’t have to abandon your fireside evenings. We have a few tips to help you keep toxins to a minimum:
- Use dry seasoned wood
- Never burn plastic or household waste
- Keep your fire hot rather than letting it smolder
Many of us take our delicate clothes to a specialist dry cleaner to freshen them up, rather than risk shrinking them in the washing machine.
But have you ever noticed the chemical smell that lingers on your clothing when you pick up your dry cleaning? The smell comes from a cleaning substance called perchloroethylene.
Worryingly, this chemical disperses into the air over a few days while your dry cleaning sits in your closet. You then breathe in the toxins putting your health at risk.
If you need to dry clean clothes, hang them in the garage after collection until the chemical smell disappears.
Secondhand Tobacco Smoke
It’s a well-known fact that smoking tobacco causes harm to health, leading to cancers, lung issues, and heart disease.
The fact is, breathing in secondhand smoke is just as dangerous, particularly for children and asthmatics.
A Purification System Is the Best Way to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Installing an air purification system, like an air scrubber, is the best way to ensure your indoor air quality is at a safe level. Air scrubbers remove various pollutants, including gasses, fungal spores, smoke, and chemicals.
Looking to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality in San Diego?
ASI Hastings are the experts when it comes to ensuring your indoor air is safe. Call the number at the top of the screen or click here to schedule an appointment online.