Yes, your indoor air isn’t as clean as you think. And, it’s not always easy to tell what’s polluting it. When the situation gets out of control, it can spell trouble for your house and everybody living in it. With that in mind, here’s a look at surprising sources for indoor air pollution and the steps you can take to deal with them.
Lemony Fresh Products
You may not know it but the scented candles you’re using in your home could be doing more damage than good. Sure, they’ll make your living space smell good, but there’s a reason to remain cautious. See, scented candles generate harmful chemicals that can reduce the quality of indoor air.
What do you need to know? Well, limonene, the primary ingredient responsible for giving the candles and cleansers their sweet, lemony scent is a highly volatile organic chemical (VOC). Don’t get it twisted though – not all VOCs are harmful.
Limonene, however, can turn your indoor air into a toxic brew if it mixes with ground-level ozone found in most houses. When the two mix, they form formaldehyde, a cancer-causing carcinogen.
One of the easiest ways to reduce indoor pollution caused by limonene is to stop using scented candles. Or, you can switch to the best air fresheners that’ll keep odor at bay without exposing your family to health hazards.
Also, you can buy a couple of spider plants and place them strategically within your house. Why spider plants? Well, because unlike other indoor plants, they can suck VOCs out the air. More specifically, they’re excellent at driving down airborne chemicals.
Ozone Generating Cleaners
Make no mistake about it – a conventional air purifier will improve the quality of your indoor air. It’ll filter pollutants such as pet dander and dust. Electrostatic precipitators, however, operate differently. They zap and gather airborne contaminants via an electrical charge that generates ozone – and therein lays the problem.
When ozone is up way up in the atmosphere (where it belongs) it ensures that we don’t suffer the effects of ultraviolet rays – and that’s a good thing. But, when it is ground level, it quickly turns in a respiratory irritant that can aggravate asthma and allergies.
So, do you really need a purifier to keep your air clean? Yes, if you’re not allergic or asthmatic. You can use regular vacuuming or dusting to get rid of pollutants especially if you live in a smoke-free environment. You can even add an exhaust fan in your bathroom or kitchen.
Be sure to conduct intensive research if you have to use a purifier. Read independent customer reviews to have an idea of what to expect with the unit you’re planning to buy.
Remember the e-cigs? And the buzz they created back in the day? Okay, e-cigarettes are still a thing but there’s more to them than meets the eye. Sure, they’re not as harmful as their traditional counterparts, but they can pollute your indoor air.
The second-hand smoke generated by e-cigs and tobacco can linger in the air for more than 30 days. The ripple effect is that it forms a greasy buildup known as third-hand smoke that can stay on your surfaces for years.
The problem occurs when third-hand smoke mixes with other airborne compounds. If it comes into contact with nitrous acid generated by cooking gas, it turns into a toxic compound that can cause medical problems.
You have to test for third-hand smoke to determine the best way to remove it. You can take samples to the lab for a nicotine test. Once you have established that your surfaces have third-hand smoke, the best way to deal with the situation is to replace the items whether it is your drywall or upholstery.
Or, you can apply a protective coat such as the Foster 40-20 if you’re on a tight budget. You’ll only need to wash your surfaces before applying the antimicrobial coating.
You need to evaluate the quality of air within your living space regularly. Make sure that you take the necessary measures to keep it clean and free of toxins. The last thing that you want is to expose your family to harmful pollutants that are easy to control.