February 6, 2009

5 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

It may be surprising for some to know that the air we breathe inside our own home can often be more toxic than the air outside!

With all sorts of chemicals, glues, toxins, off-gasses, and dirt tracked inside our homes, it's important to consider making a few small changes to make a big impact for you, your family and your pets!

1. Replace Harsh Chemicals with Eco-Friendly products.

With the 'Go Green' movement moving full speed ahead, there are numerous companies creating better products for you and the environment. They do not contain harmul chlorine bleach, sulphates, and other poisonous and toxic ingredients. Most are made from corn alcohol,coconut, plant, mineral salts, citrus fruit extracts and have some wonderful essential fragrance oil blends to boot!

2. Bring some Green INDOORS.

By bringing some plants indoors, you will increase the quality of your indoor air. Plants are also a great way to add some color and life into your home too! Many plants do not require you to be a gardening expert or have a green thumb, nor do they have to be expensive.

3. Go PVC and Vinyl-FREE.

When it comes to shower curtain liners, must people are used to the plastic, vinyl type. Shower liners off-gas some nasty chemical fumes like polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC). One of the chemical additives, DEHP, a phthalate, is a suspected carcinogen and has been linked to hormonal disruption in humans. An EPA study found that vinyl shower curtains can elevate air toxins in your home for more than a month.

Choose a natural fabric, such as cotton (organic if you can find it) or bamboo, for your next shower curtain and look for liners with the name EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate). They are virtually odorless and much more healthy than PVC and Vinyl and can be found at many local stores including Target!

4. Dual Doormats do Double Duty.

Outdoor welcome mats are a great way to stop dirt from entering your home and contaminating your home. However, adding a secondary mat inside at the front entry will provide double duty. Many Americans wear shoes inside their home, this is a sure-fire way to track in dirt, disease and chemicals like pesticides to a floor/carpet where your baby, child or pet might hang out.

5. Open a Window!

With heating and air conditioning keeping our homes at the perfect temperature, some forget to open up windows. Let the fresh air in! It will make your home smell better, release stale air that has been trapped all winter long and eliminate the amount of toxins in your home as well. Plus, who doesn't love the sound of a singing bird.

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