By Annie B. Bond, Executive Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Content.
Most of us spend 90 percent of our time indoors breathing air that is three times more polluted than outside, according to the EPA. You can’t clean up your indoor air unless you know what to clean up! Take this indoor air quality quiz, isolate the problems and implement the usually easy fixes. Being empowered with information will be worth the few seconds this quiz will take:
What is your IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Score?- Quiz
Answer each question “yes” or “no”
1. I use pesticides in and around my home
2. I use mainstream cleaning products available in the supermarket
3. The house/apartment was renovated within the last two years
4. I live with wall-to-wall carpet
5. My personal care products and perfumes are over-the-counter products bought in normal outlets such as drug stores, department stores, and supermarkets
6. I burn scented and aromatherapy candles bought in normal outlets
7. I cook on a gas stove
8. I heat with unvented kerosene or gas space heaters
9. I use air fresheners such as plug-ins bought at supermarkets
10. I have furniture and cabinets made of pressed wood
11. I, or someone in my household, practices a hobby that uses solvent-based materials
12. I, or someone in my home, smokes
Answer: Every single one of these issues can cause a significant amount of indoor air pollution. If you said “yes” to more than one or two of these questions, you are at greater risk of developing pollution-related illness.
Here are some easy fixes and solutions, by question:
1. Switch completely to integrated pest management. Resource: www.birc.org
2. Buy your cleaning products at health food stores. Learn how easy it is to do nontoxic cleaning by learning from Care2’s expert nontoxic cleaning content.
3. Make sure to air the house out a lot and use air filters until all the new materials have “outgassed.”
4. Make sure to vacuum wall-to-wall carpet very frequently as it is a “sink” for pollutants. If affordable, plan to switch to tile or hardwood floors to avoid the chemical outgassing and pollutants. If you suspect a toxic carpet contact AFM Safecoat for sealants.
5. Switch to naturally-fragranced products found at health food and specialty stores.
6. Switch to 100 percent beeswax candles and for aromatherapy, 100% beeswax candles using pure essential oils.
7. Switch to electric, or at least make sure to get a vent and a new automatic pilot model.
8. Stop. This is very dangerous.
9. Stop. Switch to natural air fresheners bought at health food stores.
10. Seal them in with products from this site: http://www.afmsafecoat.com/.
11. Switch to water-based materials. Make sure the person works in a vented room that is closed off from the rest of the house/apartment
12. The smoker should smoke outside (or preferably, quit!)