What’s in your Air?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US air quality is the immediate air in our surrounding homes, apartment complexes and work buildings. “Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.” It is very important to be aware of what type of air quality you are creating indoors as this is an environment you have control of. Air quality in general comprises of particles released from the earth naturally, man made products like furniture, clothing and paints as well as pollutants from air and vehicular travel.
Indoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:
- 34% – stroke
- 26% – ischaemic heart disease
- 22% – COPD ( chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- 12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children
- 6% – lung cancer
Three easy steps to enhance your air quality within your home to improve your own overall health and reduce ricks of pollutant triggered including asthma, respiratory illness or heart disease. According to the World Health Organization mortality data from 2012 the effects of indoor air quality can severely affects someones quality of life.
- Do Your Research:
In the The State of California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) was established to educate and warn its residents of the harmful effects of the exposure to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Proposition 65 ( Prop 65) became law in November 1986 when the California voters approved it. The official name of Proposition 65 is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.
If you are not a CA resident you will not have the warning labels on products you are purchasing or have it displayed on websites when purchasing online. This is the why it is crucial to research chemicals which are found in products you are interesting in buying. These items have a direct impact on your air quality. Be especially aware when buying large pieces of furniture like sofas, chairs or tables as they may be finished with chemicals which produce toxic off gases. If there is an ingredient you would like to learn more about its health effects you can search the database on the prop65warnings.ca.gov website.
- Air Fresheners
Eliminate the use of synthetic air fresheners and or air deodorizers as they contain volatile organic compounds ( VOCs). Vocs are chemicals which quickly transform to a vapor or gas at room temperature. Air fresheners also contain phthalates, once sprayed into the air they drop onto surfaces of our home, office and even our skin. Once these compounds get into your blood stream they may interrupt hormone production. has stated that five types of phthalates which actually includes the one found in air freshener products is “known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.”
3. Utilize Indoor Air Purifiers
Air purifiers are a great way to purify and recycle your air indoor. They are ideal for removing odors from pets, cooking smells, eliminating dusts and even viruses from the air. Selecting a purifier with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters is absolutely key as the filters are ideal in trapping ultra small particles like dander, molid, smoke, dust, pollen or allergens in the air. The industry standard for HEPA filters is that the unit must be able to remove at least 99.97% of particulates measuring 0.3 microns in diameter when tested in a lab. When considering getting a new purifier There are so many different products on the market so you would have to pick one that best suits your style and budget. In door plants are another great option to naturally purify the air. They bring beautiful elements of color and nature as well into your home or office. Visit your local plant nursery store and ask their available options. Some popular purifying plants include; Barbeton Daisy, Money Plant, English Ivy, Aloe, Snake Plant ( Mother in Law’s Tongue) and Spider plant.
Natural Resources Defense Council: www.nrdc.org/policy