Using natural cleaning products is one way to rid your home of health-damaging toxins. But even so, levels of indoor air pollution can still soar. The first important step is to be aware of these 10 cancer-causers to remove from your home–then try these quick, inexpensive ways to reduce airborne toxins.
1. Change your filter. To help clean up forced air from the furnace, replace your standard filter with one that is pleated (increased surface area collects particles more efficiently) and electrostatic (helps capture small particles and allergens). Look for a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating of 10 or higher.
2. Ventilate. Bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans are helpful in reducing humidity, which breed mold and mildew. Microscopic particles from these can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and, in rare cases, lung infection or poisoning.
3. Lower VOC exposure. Household materials such as paints or paint strippers can contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause headaches and upper-respiratory health problems as well as liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage. Use low-VOC products whenever possible.
4. Purify with plants. Houseplants can remove common chemicals from the air, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide. Some plants actually thrive on them! Peace lilies, bamboo, palms, English ivy, mums, and gerbera daisies are among the top air-purifying types.
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