Though you may not be aware of it, indoor air quality is considerably lower than we think. In fact, the air quality is usually worse in our homes than it is outside! A lot of the causes stem from the fact that we’ve taken to toxic-filled products to help keep our houses clean.
There are many risks associated with the traditional methods used in everyday cleaning, and by going through and switching out a few of the more harmful ones for organic, greener solutions, we’ll find a better way to keep our houses and the air inside it clean.
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are one of the main culprits in in-home air pollution. The EPA defines VOCs as gases emitted from certain solids or liquids, meaning they are basically the by-product of toxic substances. Some of the more common VOC-filled household products include paints, pesticides, cleaning supplies and even some office equipment. VOCs are extremely harmful to human health and oftentimes the items which contain them are not even being used. By switching to more organic cleaning supplies, low-VOC paints, and other less-toxic products, you’ll help cut down on your home’s air pollution.
To make the switch from toxic to more organic cleaning supplies, try to look for ones that are not only biodegradable, but also have a lower pH balance. Also, try going a step further by taking a strictly green approach to cleaning. For example, try to include baking soda and vinegar as interchangeable cleaning supplies since both are much safer to use indoors.
Another giant step in improving your home’s air quality is to make sure your home is properly ventilated, especially when you’re using cleaning products. Be sure to check your HVAC filters often to make sure they’re running at an optimum level, and remember to keep your windows open when cleaning. One of the biggest contributors to air pollution is the lack of proper ventilation in one’s home.
Keep in mind that proper use of disinfectants should be used minimally, as the toxic ingredients can be very hazardous to human health if we are exposed continuously. By being aware of the potentially hazardous materials in our home, and switching to more eco-friendly solutions, we’ll not only be doing the earth a favor, we’ll be improving our overall health.