How to Improve Indoor Air Pollution at Home
Apparently, humans spend over 90% of their time indoors - and that was estimated before the pandemic! 🏡
Whilst the concept of air pollution is widely understood, most of us think the air in the little box we call home is safe from the car exhaust fumes and pollutants that we usually associate with poor air quality.
In reality, the air in our homes can be more polluted than the outdoors. Poor air quality indoors is not widely understood by most consumers, but studies suggest it's something we should take really seriously.
A recent study by the Royal College of Physicians found that indoor air quality in the UK is a serious issue. Chemicals used in construction, decoration, furniture (flame retardants) and in everyday goods such as cleaning sprays, paint and cosmetics can be ‘long terms sources’ of airborne chemicals known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Formaldehyde. The study suggests that over exposure to these chemicals can lead to respiratory issues such as asthma and Rhinitis, as well as skin issues such as dermatitis and eczema.
Image credit: Parastoo Diba on Unsplash
So, what can we actually do about this? Here are our top tips for improving indoor air quality and reducing pollution at home:
1. Ventilate 🌬
Make sure you regularly open windows and doors to allow through flow of new air. This one might seem like common sense, or appear pretty strange given our understanding of outdoor air pollution. However, it's hugely beneficial, and is especially important after cooking or when drying clothes inside.
2. Shrub up 🌻
Indoor plants can make a real difference to the air quality at home. For example, the green spider plant has been shown by NASA to be effective at filtering airborne chemicals such as formaldehyde. Aloe Vera is another low maintenance goody (it's not just good for sunburn, you know!).
3. Minimise your exposure 🧼
Harsh chemicals can be found in everyday products we all take for granted, so dodge chlorine bleach based cleaners and aerosol deodorants where you can. Why not try out our non-toxic, refillable eco cleaning tabs, such as our Allthings, Baththings, and Shinythings instead of your run-of-the-mill big cleaning brand? You'll eliminate your plastic waste, drastically reduce your carbon footprint, and be increasingly eco friendly while also freeing up storage space for more Aloe Vera plants 🌵
4. Check the label 🔎
Common VOCs in everyday household products include Ethanol, Alcohols, Acetic Acid, Acetone and Butanol. We know it can be a nuisance, but checking the label and familiarising yourself with these substances will prove beneficial for your health in the long-term.
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Headline image credit: Kristen Morith on Unsplash