There are safe ways to clean indoor air, which is often contaminated with chemical and biological substances, and preserve your well-being and health!
Indoor air contains five times more pollutants than outside air. Many commonly used household products and materials have certain health risks. On their own, building materials commonly used contain more than 500 pollutants. The paintings and traditional cleaning chemicals can also contribute to the deterioration of air quality inside the house, but surprisingly, the most harmful contaminant of indoor air is cigarette smoke. We pollute the air inside and it contaminates the environment, because the smoke is mixed with water.
We spend much of our time indoors. That’s why each of us should be concerned about air quality in our homes. If you suffer from health problems or sensitivities, you need to be more vigilant. Prolonged exposure to indoor air pollutants can have serious consequences, as evidenced by the multiple chemical sensitizations, which is an emerging environmental health concern. It is always better to prevent it!
These pollutants can be chemical, such as volatile organic compounds, or biological (bacteria, molds, spores, etc.). Chemical pollutants are emitted by household cleaners and personal care products, combustion gases and smoke, and also by building materials (resins and adhesives containing formaldehyde), carpets, paints, insulation, fabrics and furniture. Particles and microscopic matter suspended in the air can enter the body.
The conjunction of several factors invites us to properly identify, eliminate or control sources of pollution, improve ventilation to dilute pollutants and purify the air.
1. Check and remove pollutants at source
These actions remain the most effective way to maintain a healthy indoor air.
2. Ventilate all year round
Adequate ventilation (defects ventilation represents a risk), natural or mechanical, is essential. It contributes to a better lifestyle by controlling humidity, odors and pollutants.
3. Purify air naturally
Replace industrial products with essential oils (lavender, ylang-ylang, lemon, geranium, pine, palmarosa or a pot-pourri (cloves, cinnamon sticks, anise seeds.).
4. Tracking the dust
Things that collect duct (carpets, beds, plush toys, books, fans, etc.) need to be removed, stored in a cabinet, covered with a dust mite cover or dusted regularly (from top to down with a damp cloth).Filters (vacuum furnace, hood, etc.) and ducts should also be periodically cleaned or changed. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter removes most of the dust diffused into the air.
5. Humidifier: is it necessary?
A humidity of 30% to 50% is ideal (a hygrometer, available at hardware stores, measures the relative humidity).The humidifier, rarely mentioned, circulates dust, dirt and mold, and must be cleaned several times a week using a solution of vinegar and hot water.
6. An air conditioning system clean
Clean the coils and make regular inspections to detect any visible signs of mold.
7. Toxic air
Aerosol sprays and other spray release a harmful fume because they contain particles (pigments, solvents, powder and other pollutants) that remain suspended in the air. If you must use hazardous materials, an exhaust fan (with drainage on the outside) and a snug face mask is needed.
8. Wash and dry healthily
Use green soap or laundry ball. We can also do without adding fabric softener to the rinse water – add two cups of vinegar instead. The dryer duct should never be obstructed or perforated as unhealthy air can escape from the device.
9. Musty smell and dampness?
To fix this, we can change the location of downspouts to keep water away from the house, insulate foundation walls, repair cracks and crevices, use a dehumidifier and discard any items damaged by water.
10. The renovation
By opting for green materials (water-based paints, carpets releasing very little fumes, non-toxic glues) we can reduce the amount of pollutants and their effects on health.
11 Furniture and flooring
Use healthy mix and fragrant mix as a polish: one part lemon juice and two parts vegetable oil.
12. Healthy cooking
Promote good ventilation when cooking, be sure to reduce humidity, (avoid boiling indoors and ensure that surfaces, even under the sink, are clean and dry), tackle mold using a solution of vinegar and water in equal parts, and clean the oven with a mixture of baking soda and water (apply, wait a few minutes and wipe with a damp cloth).
13. Furniture health
Upholstery (hardwood furniture is preferable), carpet (smooth flooring is better) and drapes, which retain moisture, dust and dirt can be a source of chemical (formaldehyde, benzene, xylene) or biological (animal dander, dust mites, mold) pollutants. In case of doubt regarding the materials used, get information from the manufacturer.
14. Air filters?
It must first seek to eliminate sources of poor quality air. Filtering systems are not a panacea nor do they justify the price.
Home cleaning products
You can clean almost anything with a mixture of baking soda and water or a damp cloth on which borax is sprinkled. With white vinegar (a powerful disinfectant), washing soda, pure soap, lemon juice and vegetable oil, we can get effective products that pose no danger to health and the environment.
Why green products?
Because using an environmentally friendly product means that we respect and preserve our environment and our health in the short and long term.