Just because we are indoors, it is natural for us to assume that we are protected from the air pollution and its versions of smog, ozone or haze occurring outside. The reality, however, is far fetched from this notion. You will be surprised to learn that indoor pollution is much more harmful than from outside and can lead to much graver health implications.
One big reason for this is that we continuously breathe the air indoors and eat, drink and sleep in the same environment. The air in your home is often polluted by lead (in house dust), fire-retardants, formaldehyde, radon, or volatile chemicals that are residues from the perfumes and other types of fragrances we use in our detergents and cleaners. Other kinds of pollutants also enter our homes, through a new mattress for example or a piece of furniture, carpet cleaners or wall paint almost on a continuous basis. You can also possibly find dust mites, mould, or heaps of pet dander when it comes to indoor pollution. Although there is little that we can do in terms of completely removing these pollutants from our indoor ecosystem, there are some measures and steps which we can take to decrease their presence in the indoor air and generally improve indoor air quality.
One of the easiest ways to improve indoor air quality is to vacuum and mop your floors on a regular basis. Home floors are prone to chemicals and allergens which can accumulate in the house for a long time. Use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air filter to reduce concentrations of lead and get rid of toxins. Mop the floor after vacuuming so that you can get rid of any allergens and particles that were left behind by the vacuum. Always place a doormat for people entering the home so that your floor remains clean.
Dust mites and mould grow in moisture. It is important to maintain adequate humidity levels of around 30-50% which can help control allergies. Using a dehumidifier in the winter (although in Alberta the air tends to be dry in the winter, so you may not need a dehumidifier) and an air conditioner in the summer can help to maintain a proper temperature and humidity level indoors. It also helps to reduce indoor pollen count – an added benefit for people prone to allergies.
Limit the use of market-based products
Whether it is using one of those automatic fragrance products, strong smell fabric softeners, Phenyl cleaners or something else, modern homes are a mix of hundreds of synthetically manufactured chemicals, which unknowingly cause a lot of respiratory and health issues for us. It is necessary to limit the use of these products and instead opt for more natural ways to enhance and clean your interiors. Switch to mild cleansers that do not have high chemical components. You can also use natural ingredients like lemon and baking soda to emit odours and keep the air smelling fresh. Try adding a few plants to your home to increase the purity of the indoor air.