When people think about pollution, what often comes to mind is the poor air quality in urban areas. While breathing in polluted air outdoors can have adverse effects on our health, the air that we breathe indoors can also impact our health. In fact, recent studies have shown that some harmful air pollutants can exist in higher concentrations in indoor spaces than outdoors. A majority of indoor air pollutants come from the outside, but most are released inside the building during everyday activities. As we spend up to 90% of our day indoors, it’s crucial to find ways to improve the air quality in schools, offices, and in our home, and there are natural ways to do it without harming indoor air or your health.
Common indoor air pollutants
The products that we use and the activities that we do can contribute to the poor air quality inside our homes and public buildings. Some of the main contributors to indoor air pollution include cleaning products, beauty and personal care products, gas appliances, moisture, animal allergens, and humidifiers. Surprisingly, air fresheners can also affect air purity.
Some commercial air fresheners have been found to contain variable amounts of phthalates, chemicals that are used to soften plastics and dissolve and carry fragrances. Phthalates have been linked to a number of health conditions, including asthma, type II diabetes, obesity, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, autism, male fertility issues, low IQ, and breast cancer, among others. These are the reasons why trying to improve your indoor air quality with a burst of scented mist may not be the way to go at all. To naturally improve the quality of indoor air, try following these tips.
Use natural odour eliminators
Instead of using a can of air freshener to chase away musty smells and odours, try using natural odour eliminators instead. You can grind a few slices of lemon in the garbage disposal, sprinkle baking soda inside a trashcan, or keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter.
Avoid smoking indoors
Tobacco smoke can have negative effects on your family’s health. It can cause lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer. Moreover, it causes health problems in infants and children such as severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. Enforce a no policy inside your home for the health of your family and improved air quality.
Have a few purifying plants inside the building
Having plants indoors not only increases the oxygen levels inside a building, but some plants may even reduce or eliminate pollutants. Consider having potted plants such as Barberton daisy, which eliminates formaldehyde and benzene; English ivy, which reduces airborne faecal particles; snake plant, which can filter out toluene and xylene; and Chrysanthemum, which can clear out toxins like ammonia and benzene.
Use a Himalayan salt lamp
A Himalayan salt lamp is basically a big piece of salt with an incandescent light bulb inside. The heat emitted from the lamp contains negative ions which remove toxins from the air. The warm, pinkish glow of the lamp also promotes relaxation and can improve sleep quality.
Clean air is crucial to avoid sickness and other health problems. Follow these tips to have naturally clean and purified air in your home or building for your health and well-being.