How can you make the air that you breathe purer?
Most of us have already been made aware of the dangers of air pollution and carbon emissions on our health and the environment. We strive to seek out greener alternatives where possible, by dutifully recycling our cans and plastics, leaving the car at home on occasion, and donating our old clothes. But how do we deal with air pollution and toxins in our own homes?
It’s a little-known fact that the air you breathe outside and the air in your home are essentially the same and therefore contain the same pollutants. As we spend most of our time indoors, it’s vital that we take action to clean up the air. HVAC specialists Daikin are here to explore the risks of airborne toxins in the home and give advice on how you can make the air that you breathe purer.
Air pollution and health
Also known as Toxic House Syndrome, the NHS have listed some potential causes for symptoms of this little-known ailment. Dust, smoke, bad ventilation, and inadequately maintained air conditioning units are all cited as potentially contributing towards the problem.
According to the WHO, the following risks are associated with toxic air in the home:
- Ischaemic heart disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Lung cancer
Though the impact of toxic household air is more apparent in poor and low-income countries, who still use solid fuels like wood, waste, and charcoal, more developed countries are still adding to their indoor pollutants.
Causes of poor air quality at home
Let’s take a look at the main causes of poor air quality indoors. An article by the British Lung Foundation noted that ventilation, temperature, damp, cooking, smoking, pets, cleaning products, and pollution from outside all build up within our homes. It’s worth opening the windows of your home for at least a little time every day, especially when you’re cooking. Check your home for damp too as this can cause myriad health problems, so you’ll want to treat it as soon as possible if found.
Scented candles are extremely popular, but unfortunately they come with a range of health risks. The chemicals used to perfume candles for their scent can contain harmful substances like benzene and toluene. The same goes for air fresheners, regardless of if they are spray or plug-in. The fresh scent is achieved by chemicals, which you let into your home when you use them, so if you’re looking to freshen up, best stick to opening the windows and cleaning the home with natural products.
Spray bottle cleaning products also cause the chemicals and toxins to spray into the air. It’s better to opt for liquid cleaners that you can pour as much as you need. Consider other sprays too (deodorant, hair spray, etc) and only use them in well-ventilated areas.
Working towards a cleaner environment
So, we’ve outlined the risks of scented candles and chemical air fresheners. But you still need a way to freshen up your home without having the windows open all the time, right? Luckily, there are loads of natural air fresheners you can make, and they’re very easy to create. The Natural Penguin offers loads of great ideas – we’re particularly fond of the oil-scented wood blocks, they’re simple and would look boho-chic in a glass bowl mixed with some dried flowers or glass pebbles.
Plants are also effective in improving air quality and eliminating toxins. NASA has even conducted a study of the best air-purifying plants out there; try some aloe vera in the bedroom or a spider plant in the kitchen! Ask your employer if it’s possible to bring some greenery into the office too.
Air purification systems can also help clean up the air in your home. These powerful systems actively filter the air you breathe, capturing any harmful particles or pollutants and keeping the air as fresh as possible. Air purifiers can help lower allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as reduce the number of bacteria in the air you breathe. They’re also a great way to neutralise odours without resorting to harmful air fresheners.
It’s easy to forget about the air in your home. But it’s not something you can avoid! Take a look around your indoor spaces and ask yourself – what exactly am I breathing in every day?