Did you know: The air inside your home is actually 2 to 5 times more polluted and toxic
than the air you breathe outdoors? It’s appalling, really. We go for regular health check-ups, pop pills on a daily basis, stress over allergies, but neglect the most basic thing there is – the quality of the air we breathe
24/7. Everything from the mattresses we sleep on to our kids’ pajamas can contain harmful chemicals and toxins. Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja, Healing Touch Hospital says, “Breathing in toxic gases can cause rashes, coughing, irritation in the eyes, as well as asthma like symptoms.
Formaldehyde, a toxic gas, is found in insecticides, glues, shampoos, shaving creams, carpets and is actually a carcinogen. It is even found in cigarette smoke
which is a major contributor to air pollution and can lead to potentially fatal complications, even if it’s secondhand smoke. Also, chemicals from paint, woodwork in the house or office, hair and nail products, cleaning products and detergents – all contribute to air pollution inside our homes. It surprises me how so many potentially harmful contaminants get trapped inside our homes, and we can’t even open a window to get some fresh air!
Natural Ways to Purify Air at Home
1. Increase Ventilation
Ventilating homes reduces moisture levels, a major problem for indoor air quality. But no, we’re not asking you to open a window and let all the outdoor air pollution enter your living space. Instead, install trickle vents to purify and cycle the air you breathe indoors. Another great alternative is to use exhaust fans which help carry pollutants outside. Make it a point to ventilate your kitchen since cooking can be a major source of indoor air pollution, especially if you have a gas stove. Scientists who measured indoor air quality found that cooking a single meal on a gas stove can produce levels of nitrogen dioxide that the EPA considers unsafe to breathe. Also, after you take a shower, be sure to vent out all the steam and extra moisture in the air which can cause mold and mildew growth by turning the fan on.
2. Carpets are a toxic sponge. Clean them often. Especially the part of the carpeting near the entry of the house. According to an EPA study, if you use a doormat and take shoes off at the door – common toxins are reduced by about 60%.
3. Eliminate excessive moisture, dust build-up and the use of chemical products like paint, detergents, and synthetic fibers. Side note: Say no to dry dusting! Use a damp cloth to clean up and to avoid breathing in all the dust particles which are lifted into the air while you clean.
4. Quit smoking, and prevent guests from smoking inside your house.
5. When it comes to household items, always be on the lookout for au naturel alternatives to chemical-laden items.
6. If you have plants at home, clean leaves regularly to get rid of dirt.
7. Take off your shoes! Shoes carry coal tar, cigarette ash, pesticides, fungal spores, lead dust, pollen, wood smoke, industrial toxins, mutagens, dust mites, and who knows what else!
8. Resist the temptation to open windows and cool your home by using ceiling fans, heat-blocking window treatments and minimising the use of heat-producing appliances.
9. Since dry cleaning solvents can be toxic to breathe, first let dry-cleaned items air outdoors before bringing them inside in order to prevent chemicals from entering your home.
10. Know the limitation of air purifiers, as they can help reduce some of the tiniest air borne particles to an extent but fail to get rid of larger particles effectively.
11. Clean your air conditioner to help keep asthma triggers away from your house. And as soon as you notice drips and leaks, get it fixed.