It’s no surprise that air pollution can affect your health, but did you know that indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air? Have you ever thought about how much time you spend inside? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that people spend roughly 90% of their time indoors. Because of this, the EPA also ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. So how can you detoxify the air in your home?
Keep toxins out
Prevention is the most effective way to ensure a clean environment in your home. Listed below are a 3 ways to prevent toxins from entering your home.
1. Use non-toxic materials in your home.
- Bamboo, cork, or tile floors instead of carpet
- Organic cotton or wool rugs
- No-VOC or low-VOC paint
- Solid wood furniture instead of particle board
- Organic, untreated fabric for bed linens, shower curtains, and window treatments
- 100% natural latex mattress with organic wool mattress cover
2. Repair any leaks and replace damaged drywall.
Humidity and moisture are the perfect breeding grounds for mildew and mold. You can help prevent mildew and mold in your home by controlling the humidity level and reducing moisture. The EPA recommends keeping the humidity inside your home between 30 and 60%. Specific preventative measures could include:
- Checking your roof, attic, basement, or foundation for damage and leaks
- Repairing leaks in bathroom, kitchen, or roof
- Replacing any drywall with signs of water damage
- Hanging towels 3 to 4 inches away from walls
- Utilizing air conditioning units and dehumidifiers during humid months
- Purchasing a moisture meter from your local hardware store
- Increasing air circulation by opening doors or windows and utilizing fans
3. Choose non-toxic chemical cleaners and avoid pesticides.
- Use natural kitchen cleaners
- Prevent pests by covering trash cans, storing food in airtight containers, and sealing off cracks and small gaps
- Steam clean clothing instead of dry cleaning
Detoxify your air regularly
Once you’ve done your best to keep toxins out of your home, the next step is to detoxify your indoor air regularly, especially if you have indoor pets. This can be done with plants, vacuums, or sophisticated air purifiers.
4. Buy air-purifying plants
One of the most economical ways to purify your air is to keep plants in your home. Plants are major contributors to clean indoor air. Many plants are capable of absorbing a number of toxins and removing them from the environment. Some air-purifying plants include:
- Aloe vera
- Spider plant
- English ivy
- Bamboo palm
5. Consider a HEPA vacuum
When vacuuming dust and/or pet dander, you will want to ensure that your vacuum is not just spreading toxic air from one place to another. Look for a vacuum with a HEPA bag filter to be sure that you are successfully removing toxins from your home environment.
6. Invest in a HEPA air filter/purifier
You can clean the air in your home with a HEPA air filter, which I have in both my home and office.
Whether you decide to purchase an air-purifying plant for your apartment or replace your entire home with organic, untreated furniture, every step that you can take toward a cleaner and healthier home is a step closer to a healthier and happier you!
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