According to the EPA, most of us spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. That seems about right to me, especially in the wintertime (though in the summer, I’m able to work outside on some days, so it’s much lower then). And although there are plenty of laws and regulations about outdoor air pollution, most of us don’t give a second thought to the air in our homes.
But we should: “… a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors,” advises the EPA.
You could choose to invest in an air purifier or filter (I added one when I upgraded the forced-air heating system in my home a couple of years ago), but getting significantly cleaner, healthier air in your home doesn’t have to come from making big changes or even spending any money. Starting with the simplest idea:
List and captions courtesy of Mother Nature Network. Images courtesy of credited Flickr users.
Use toxin-free, all-natural cleaning products
Many “cleaners” (I don’t consider toxic ingredients “clean”) include chemicals that release VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) into your indoor air. In most homes, VOC’s are two to five times higher than outdoor air, and can be up to 25 times higher in cabinets where cleaning products are kept. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, “The best health protection measure is to limit your exposure to products and materials that contain VOCs when possible.” In the short-term, VOCs can make asthma worse, irritate the eyes and throat, and can cause headaches and dizziness. Long-term effects include liver and kidney damage, and VOC’s are considered carcinogens. Toxic chemicals in cleaning products are totally unnecessary. (I’ve been cleaning my home with nontoxic products for more than a decade, and the place looks great!). Switch to natural brands, especially for those cleaning products that you use regularly, like countertop sprays and bathroom scrubs. Or better yet, make your own, and save money too.
Source: HuffPost Green