We are all used to think of air pollution as of something coming from outside – smog, fog, slight haze. But the truth is that the air inside our home, office or entire building can be much more polluted. The polluting agents outside are accompanied by the lead in the dust at home, formaldehyde, radon and even the volatile chemicals contained in the cleaning products. Some polluting agents we bring in our homes just by going in or out. Others come with the new mattresses or furniture, carpet cleaners or paint on the walls.
In this whole mixture of polluting agents you can also find microscopic mites, which are basic allergens, as well as dirt and dandruff from your pets. Even if you don’t have pets, that doesn’t mean you’re safe, simply because you can bring home the dirty agents from outside. It’s easy to catch them from people walking their dogs.
Children, asthmatics and old people are particularly sensitive to polluted rooms, but some negative effects can manifest years later.
Room allergens and irritants have become much more dangerous in the past decades, because we tend to spend more time in closed rooms. Besides, since the modern homes are insulated, irritants and polluting agents are very difficult to get rid of. In these modern times people are three to four times more exposed to pollution than 40 years ago. Yet it is not impossible to reduce the quantity of harmful particles in the air. Chemicals and allergens accumulate in the dust at home for decades.
If you use vacuum cleaner with special filter, you can reduce the concentration of lead in your home. You can also remove other toxins like pollens, animal dandruff and mites. Using a vacuum cleaner with more traction with spinning brushes and special filter guarantees that dust and dirt will not be blown back in the room, while the vacuum cleaner blows the air. Aside from vacuuming the floors, make sure you won’t miss the walls, carpet edges and upholstered furniture where dust easily accumulates.
However, there are spots that vacuum can’t reach. You can skip cleansers but use pure water only. Microfiber cloths are proved to catch more dirt without cleaning solutions.
You can keep the dirt outside by placing a door mat at every door, because our shoes carry all kinds of dirt. Door mats reduce the quantity of pesticides and other polluting agents. If the door mat is large enough, even people who don’t rub their shoes, will leave most of the dirt on it and not on your floor.
If your home is older, there’s a huge possibility that the walls have kept remains from lead paint used in the past. However, even in a new home you can still be exposed to this harmful element by the lead dust brought from outside. Lead increases the risk of serious problems for children such as brain diseases, central nervous system diseases and renal disorders. Kids easily catch the dust on their fingertips, from where it transfers in their mouths.
Which are the golden rules for keeping our home as clean as possible?
Mites and molds love moisture. Maintaining the humidity levels between 30% and 50% will help you control them, as well as other allergens. Moisture catchers and water trapping devices (as well as air conditioners in the summer) help reduce the air humidity inside and effectively control the level of allergens.
2. Don’t smoke inside your home
The most common reason for pollution of the air in our homes comes from the cigarette smoke. It contains more than 4000 chemicals, most of which are harmful. Passive smoking also creates risk of respiratory and ear infections, asthma and cancer.
3. Check for radon
Whether your home is new or old, it’s possible to have problems with the radon levels. It’s proven that this colorless and odorless gas significantly increases the risk of lung cancer. After smoking, radon is the second common cause for this disease. Combining these two factors makes the risk extremely high. For example, the level of radon increases by the granite slabs.
4. Use natural flavors and odors for the rooms
Synthetic odors in the detergents and odors emanate dozens of chemicals in the air. And these chemicals you will never find indicated on the product label.