IMPROVING INDOOR AIR QUALITY
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© June 2017, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
By implementing the following strategies, you will greatly reduce your indoor air pollutants, thereby reducing your family's toxic load:
1. Increase ventilation by opening a few windows every day for 5 to 10 minutes, preferably on opposite sides of the house.
2. Buy an ozonator/ionizer air purifier for your home. This is a superb idea to help clean the air AND to increase the oxygen content of the air. Here is a link to learn more about this excellent machine: Ozone air purifier.
3. Buy some houseplants. Some plants markedly improve the air! Click here for the 10 best pollution-busting houseplants.
4. Take your shoes off as soon as you enter the house, and leave them by the door to prevent tracking in of toxic particles.
5. Prohibit tobacco and pot smoking in or around your home.
6. Switch to non-toxic cleaning products (such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar) and safer personal care products. Avoid aerosols. Look for VOC-free cleaners. Avoid commercial air fresheners and scented candles, which can outgas a number of toxic chemicals into your breathing space.
7. Use a natural laundry detergent such as Oxiclean or others.
8. New appliances, furniture, mattresses and other household items can be quite toxic. If they smell, ideally put them outside or on a patio for a week or two, or longer, until they do not smell as bad.
9. Don't hang dry cleaned clothing in your closet immediately. Hang them outside for a day or two. Better yet, see if there's an eco-friendly dry cleaner in your city that uses some of the newer dry cleaning technologies, such as liquid CO2.
10. Vacuum and shampoo/mop carpets, rugs, and floors regularly. Every time a person walks across the floor, a whirlwind of irritants is stirred up. Buy a steam mop for hard floors such as tile. This is an excellent way to clean floors without needing chemicals.
11. Change and perhaps upgrade your furnace filters. Today, there are more elaborate filters that trap more of the particulates. Have your furnace and air conditioning ductwork and chimney cleaned regularly.
12. Avoid storing paints, adhesives, solvents, and other harsh chemicals in your house. If possible, donŐt have them or store them outside, if possible, or in the garage.
13. Ensure your combustion appliances are properly vented. These include gas stoves and propane stoves and barbeque units.
14. When building or remodeling, opt for safer and more eco-friendly materials. For example, use plywood instead of OSB for floors, siding and roofs. Avoid toxic cements and glues, if possible. VOC-free paints are becoming easier to find.
15. Ideally, do not have carpeting in your home. It is quite impossible to keep it really clean. Instead, use tile, hardwood, linoleum, or even engineered wood, laminate and area rugs. Carpet traps a multitude of particles such as pet dander, dust, mold and more. With linoleum and tile, never use glue to hold it down. Some tile comes pre-glued and that is better.
16. If you must have carpet, look for one labeled "VOC-free". Another idea is to look for carpeting that has been sitting in a carpet warehouse for a few years and has outgassed. If possible, smell the carpet before installing it. Never allow installers to use glue to hold carpet down. However, try to avoid all carpeting.
17. Make sure your house has proper drainage and its foundation is sealed properly.
AUTO AIR QUALITY
1. New cars are very toxic inside. Preferably buy a used car at least one year old because it has outgassed.
2. If a car still smells new, close the windows and place an ozone generator inside the car for at least 24 to 48 hours. It will destroy some of the odor-causing chemicals.
3. Leather in cars can be quite toxic and hard to clean up. The fabric interior is probably better.
4. Some used car dealers spray perfume in their cars. Be sure to tell any car dealer not to spray perfume in the car when you buy it or service it.
OUTDOOR AIR QUALITY
1. Ideally, live outside of a major city. Cities have much more air pollution, in most cases, and lower oxygen levels. They often have more cell phone towers, as well. This is a bad combination.
2. If you must live in a city, try to live away from a freeway and factories that spew soot and chemicals. Also, learn the wind patterns and live where the wind brings more fresh air.