People in the United States today are becoming more and more aware of the necessity of recycling, “going green,” and doing whatever is necessary to protect and purify our environment, so one habitat we should certainly not overlook is the area within our own homes. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has stated that the air inside our homes is dirtier than the air outside in smog-filled cities. What is in the air that is causing it to be so dangerous? Bacteria, toxins, and allergens are the primary culprits, but you may be surprised how many are within the home and where they can be found. You may also be surprised by who is most susceptible to pollution in the home. Between 7,500 and 15,000 children are sick or hospitalized with respiratory infections each year, and asthma has been declared the leading serious chronic illness of children in the US, according to the website, The Daily Green. Visiting the waiting room of a local pediatrician’s office should convince anyone that a higher percentage of children today suffer from respiratory complaints like colds, coughing, flu, and asthma than ever before.
The problem is serious, but there are some solutions homeowners can try that will make the air in their homes healthier. Today’s homes are energy efficient which means they are more airtight. Open the windows and doors from time to time to help exchange stale indoor air with fresh outside air. It is also very helpful to keep your house as clean as you can. Check the bathrooms and under sinks for mold or mildew. Use slip covers that can be washed often, and keep pets off of them and other furniture, especially beds where dust mites might develop. Vacuum using a HEPA filter vacuum. HVAC filters should be changed regularly and often, and use an air purifier or air purification system to remove particulates from the air and dehumidifiers to help control humidity. Keep everything as dust free as is feasible. Avoid smoke, fumes, and odors whenever possible. Ask friends who smoke to step outside of your home since smoke not only damages your health but also lingers and permeates the fabrics and surfaces in your home. Use only low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) or no–VOC paints and products. Many of the substances that you store inside may contain toxins which might leak into the atmosphere. This may include everything from cleansers, adhesives, and insecticides to nail polish remover, hair spray, and particle board. Install smoke, carbon monoxide, and radon detectors, and check them regularly to see that they are functioning properly. Ventilation fans in bathrooms and kitchens should also be checked frequently.
Remember, if you need advice or would like to hire someone to examine the air in your home or fix any problem area, there are experts available to help you using the most current equipment and technology available. The business you choose should specialize in air quality control, have certified and experienced technicians, and have a good reputation among its customers.