Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Green Cleaning and Purifying Indoor Air | Natural Cleaning Product Reviews

Note from Pam: Spring Cleaning and year-round natural cleaning with green cleaners is part of the equation to cleaning-up our homes from toxins and indoor pollution, here are some other simple, inexpensive steps that you can easily add to supplement your natural cleaning efforts:

Is Indoor Air Safe? 4 Simple Steps to Make It Safer

It is true that we spend most of our time, almost 80% of it, in indoor spaces. We're used to worrying about the air outdoors. We complain about pollution, gas emissions and smog. However, indoor air can be more hazardous than outdoor air. That is due to the levels of humidity that are created in closed spaces, which support growth of bacteria and intensify the existing pollutants. The concentration of pollutants per unit of air can be 10 to 50 times greater indoors than out. Additionally, indoor air is perfectly absorbed and exchanged with fresh air. That leads to breathing higher concentration of pollutants per breath.

Indoor Pollutants

Some of the indoor air pollutants whose existence we know of include:

-Tobacco, which is generally known to cause cancer to smokers, what we don't know is that passive smokers also run a high risk of developing cancer, nose or throat irritations, bronchitis and asthma. Additionally, tobacco smoke, being thick, is not completely absorbed and/or exchanged with fresh air. It becomes smog that sits around the house.

-VOCs or Volatile organic compounds are regularly used in houses. The name is tricky but the products are simple. Perfumes and hair sprays, various detergents, air fresheners, polishers, fragrance candles... these innocent products can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches and nausea.

-Pesticides and other bug repellents cause respiratory irritation, impaired lung function and may even contribute to asthma and damage to the central nervous system.

-Animal dander, dust mites and pollen from indoor plants can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks to people with respiratory problems.

-Various bacteria also exist in our indoor air, as well as mold, mildew and fungi, which may cause eye, nose and respiratory irritation, skin rash and other allergic reactions.

-Other Dangerous Pollutants: Some of the most dangerous pollutants indoor are radon asbestos, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and organic gases that cause respiratory irritations, nausea fatigue and headaches, contribute to lung cancer, liver and central nervous system damage.

Along with oxygen, we breathe these harmful substitutes every day. Let's see what we can do to purify our indoor air and protect our health.

How to Purify Indoor Air?

-Use air-cleaning houseplants. Houseplants have the ability not only to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen but also to trap and absorb many pollutants through their natural process of photosynthesis. Luckily, plants are very effective at removing gases such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, benzene and cigarette smoke. The best air purifying plants are Aloe Vera, Bamboo palms, Dracaena palms, Spider plants, Philodendrons, Pothos and Chrysanthemums.

-Ventilate your space properly. Air-purification devices can reduce the amount of pollutants found in indoor air. Clean the filters regularly. You can use filters with activated carbon, which is very effective as pollutant gases are attracted by and stick to the carbon.

- Open the windows. That will allow the exchange of indoor air with fresh air letting many pollutants to escape. Create an air cross draft to clean the air faster.

-Eliminate Chemical Pollutants. You shouldn't rely solely only on outdoor air to refresh your space. Outdoor air isn't completely clean; it contains many pollutants as well. The best way to keep air healthy is to eliminate the source of pollutants as much as possible. Be on the lookout and remove all products that contain petrochemicals*.

Scientific research has shown increased evidence that indoor air pollution is one of the biggest environmental risks we face. Public-health experts coordinate to bring solutions, but meanwhile, take precautions, such as the ones listed above, to protect yours and your family's health.

About the Author

We Have No Choice! We Must Breathe The Air That Is In Our Homes, Offices and Schools. Visit Ventinfo.com at www.ventinfo.com and Learn How We Can Use Vents, Soffits and Air Ducts to Properly Ventilate Our Space and Keep Pollutants to a Minimum.
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*Note from Pam:

What are petrochemicals and how can we avoid them?

Petrochemicals are chemicals products made from the raw materials of petroleum (crude oil), natural gas, and coal. They usually end in suffices such as -lene -anol -glycol -ester -ether -ethane -lene -aene -ane -alate and others. Some are known carcinogens like the infamous 1,4-dioxane recently in the news during the last few years.

Petrochemicals are in almost everything! And it may seem daunting, when first realizing this fact--the list of products with petrochemicals includes hundreds of items, probably found in every home today! Petrochemicals have been linked repeatedly with the rise in cancer and other serious health conditions.

One way to reduce this chemical overload, we are inundated with, is to detoxify our homes, as much as possible. Start by educating yourself (I'm continually in that mode!) and replace your cleaners and cosmetics with healthy, non-toxic choices. It's a start......green cleaning products using natural, non-toxic ingredients is a great first step to protecting your health.

Also, to remove toxins, filter your home's air with a HEPA air purifier like sold by Discount Allergy Products on their website.

1 comment:

  1. Since I work at a manufacturing plant, I live most of my days inside it, as I oversee our assembly line. I know the indoor air is indeed risky, but of course we always maintain our HVAC system to avoid any health problems. We always clean our centrifugal fans. Manufacturers should of course be vigilant in making their work environment safe.

    Thanks to our centrifugal fan manufacturer, we are able to clean our ventilation equipment like they should be.