START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Toxic Indoor Air Pollution & Keeping a Healthy Home

Toxic Indoor Air Pollution & Keeping a Healthy Home

During my first tabling event for†Utah Moms for Clean Air a few years ago, I couldnít help but overhear talk about indoor air pollution. From lighting wood in our†fireplace to†burning candles in my home during the cold, winter months, I was shocked to learn how harmful both can be to my familyís health. During Salt Lake Valleyís†inversion months, itís illegal to burn coal or wood because it adds to the already toxic air outdoors. Unfortunately, I didnít realize that it can also destroy indoor air.

As outdoor air pollution increases, we tend to assume we can escape into the safety of our homes for cleaner air. Unfortunately,†indoor air pollution is not only as toxic as outdoor air, it can be worse. From†wood burning stoves to household cleaners, we need to be mindful of what we release into our air.

According to the†Environmental Protection Agency, sources of indoor air pollution include:

  • combustion sources: oil, kerosene, gas, coal, wood, candles and tobacco
  • building materials: carpet, wood and insulation
  • household cleaning products, personal care items, paints and solvents
  • central heating and cooling devices
  • outdoor air pollution: smog, ozone, toxic gases such as radon and pesticides

Building and†home decorating products and materials such as†carpeting, can also contain contaminants. These contaminants include: mold spores, radon and volatile organics compounds (VOCís). Many carpets and products used during the installation process contain carcinogenic materials that can stick around in the air for a long time. In addition, mold can grow from wet carpets and cause health problems.†Radon and pesticides from outside can leak indoors and adhere to carpeting materials, re-releasing toxins into the indoor air.

There are a variety of household cleaners used that are extremely toxic to our health. According to the†EPA, typical household cleaners such as aerosol sprays, cleansers and disinfectants containing VOCís pose a great threat to indoor air quality. VOCís may ďcause cancer in animalsÖsome are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans.Ē In addition to common household cleaners, paints and other solvents also increase toxicity. The toxic effect varies depending on the type of product used and duration of use.

According to HVAC & R Research, indoor air pollution is caused by biological growth from HVAC components such as poor humidifying systems, cooling coils and drip pans. Also, poor installation of HVAC components and ventilation systems can increase VOCís released into indoor air.

In order to improve our air quality, itís crucial to maintain a naturally clean home. Proper ventilation, removal of toxic products such as cleaners and solvents, and installation of efficient HVAC systems that are properly maintained, along with testing for radon and†natural gas leaks throughout the home make for a safer and healthier home.

Donít you think our homes should be safe havens to raise healthy families?

STOP THE WAR ON THE EPA, CONFIRM GINA MCCARTHYíS NOMINATION AS EPA ADMINISTRATOR

 

Related
5 Remedies That Minimize the Effects of Environmental Pollution
Toxins Linked to Belly Fat & Obesity
Exposed: What’s Lurking in Febreeze?

Read more: Allergies, Asthma, Cancer, Children, Environment, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , , ,

by†Bridget James

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Moms Clean Air Force

Moms Clean Air Forceis a community of moms, dads and others fighting for clean air and the health of future generations. Follow them on Twitter @ MomsCAF.

71 comments

+ add your own
8:26AM PDT on Jul 13, 2013

Those who suffer from respiratory illnesses, asthma or allergies can appreciate the importance of breathing clean air. Through the use of ionic technology, far-infrared rays and a special manufacturing process, an all-natural paint additive named Air-ReNu, has been developed that continuously maintains healthy indoor air quality and removes, odors caused by smoking, pets, cat urine and bacterial proliferation. One application will remain effective for 10-12 years.

12:07AM PDT on Jul 13, 2013

Two great things to clear up the air in your home: 1. Most people are keeping their homes shut up tight, so the level of indoor pollution just keeps building up. Run your central air(if you have it) with at least one of the windows open for fifteen minutes and thus flush the stale, contaminated air out of your house. 2. Indoor plants can do wonders for purifying your home's air.

3:49PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

good article, but I'd have liked some more information, in particular about the personal care items

3:33PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

"More children under four die of accidental poisonings at home than are accidentally killed with guns at home." -National Safety Council
"Of Chemicals commonly found in homes, 150 have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities." -Consumer Product Safety Commission
"After analyzing 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products, 884 were found to be toxic." -National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
(Of these 778 can cause acute toxicity, 146 can cause tumors, 218 can cause reproductive complications, 314 can cause biological mutation, and 376 can cause skin and eye irritations.)
"Indoor air pollution is one of the most important environmental health problems." -Environmental Protection Agency in a report to Congress
According to the EPA most homes have airborne concentrations of hazardous chemicals that are 2 - 5 times higher indoors than outdoors. Personal care products and other household goods release toxic vapors into the air when they are used - some even when they are being stored.

7:35AM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

I would like to add that I am working on removing all the chemicals and toxins out of my home. I am switching stores and saving. I have started using products that are safe to be used around children and pets, and are also eco-friendly. They are so many products on the market that have chemicals in them that you use on your body and in cleaning your house. I would like to be able to tell more people here about them. I am also earning an income and would like to give others the same opportunity.

11:16AM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

Recently moved into a new rental, the pervious tenant smoked and had several cats. The smell was not very pleasant, and the owner found it difficult to rent due to the odor. The landlord reimbursed me for repainting the interior and gave me a break on the rent. A contractor friend told me about a product called Air-ReNu that you mix with the paint. After completing painting, no more smoke or pet odors, Has anyone else used this product?

10:45AM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

With my allergies I have to be so careful of any air freshners because most of the scents bother me, some even so heavy that I can't breathe. These compantes keep coming out with scents that are so overpowering they can cause our pets to have a difficult time breathing. I had found one that was scent free but now the stores no longer put it on the shelves - people weren't buying the fancy, expensive stuff.

The plug in type of fresheners are not allowed in most apt bldgs by the Fire Dept here because they've been know to start fires.

Even some candles are too strong. I do use Febreze Allergen Reducer. It is the only thing that isn't too strong and has a nice scent - also not aerosol. However, thier new air fresheners are just like the rest - overpowering and not nice scents. At least they aren't aerosols.

9:50AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

thank you~

2:44PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Thanks for sharing

9:27PM PDT on Jun 6, 2013

Thanks!

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

The headline of this article really caught my attention.

A delightful and meaningful friendship.

nice article. informative. thanks

So Heartwarming and just SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Tears and I wish long, happy life for this …

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.