Indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental risks to public health. In fact, pollution inside can be two to five times worse than the air outdoors. Here are some ways to breathe easier in your home.
- Good ventilation reduces air pollution. Whenever possible, keep doors between rooms open.
- Open windows when showering or cooking to get air circulating.
- Never leave the car or lawn mower running in the garage or shed.
- Avoid smoke exposure by not lighting up a cigarette or cigar indoors and refraining from lighting a fire in the fireplace.
- Wash bedding weekly in hot water. 130 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will kill dust mites.
- To avoid fumes, use water and baking soda instead of bleach when you clean floors and bathtubs.
- Use mops or rags that are damp when cleaning. The moisture will send less dust into the air.
- When washing dishes or appliances, make sure they are dry before storing them to avoid a damp environment attractive to mold.
- Immediately clean up spilled liquids to prevent mold growth, and tell your parents if you notice any pipes or appliances leaking.
- When buying hair, body and cleaning products, avoid aerosol spray cans.
- Buy some plants! Plants produce the oxygen that makes life possible, add moisture and filter toxins. Indoor plants can reduce pollutants in your home too! (Note: Get organic house plants grown without pesticides and pot them in ceramic or other non-plastic pots.) Certain plants are especially helpful in reducing indoor air pollution:
- Aloe Vera: eliminates emissions from most toxic materials
- Fig Trees: Reduces formaldehyde
- Chrysanthemum: Toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia
- Spider Plants: Exceptional for eliminating formaldehyde
- Chinese Evergreen, Bamboo Palm and Lillies: Many toxic materials
American Lung Association
Environmental Protection Agency
The Daily Green