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Keeping your home clean and safe at all times should be one of your priorities. This includes having indoor air quality that is healthy. To achieve this, you must take a look at the household products you use at home. They might actually be contributing to indoor air pollution. You’ll be surprised to know that the products you have been using for years now might not be safe to use. Read on to find out how a few of the common household products can negatively affect your home’s indoor air quality and what you can do to resolve these issues.

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What Is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality or IAQ is the air’s condition in an enclosed structure, such as your home or commercial space. It relates to how the air affects the occupants’ health and comfort within the house or building. If you have healthy indoor air quality, it means that you breathe easier and safer.

Your home’s IAQ should be a priority, especially if there are elderly, children, and immuno-compromised people who live in your home. Indoor air that is highly humid and/or highly polluted also poses a health risk and could lead to symptoms like allergies and respiratory issues. Therefore, it is essential that your home and all other structures have high indoor air quality standards.

 

Household Products That Affect IAQ

The best way to get rid of all indoor air quality problems is to know how pollutants get inside your home. You might even be using some of the household products that significantly reduce indoor air quality. Here are a few of them:

Cleaning Products

image of homeowner using disinfectant to clean

Most commercial cleaning products have a formula that contains harmful chemicals. These are detrimental to your health and the environment. These cleaning supplies typically have ammonia, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bleach, and synthetic fragrances. These can reduce your home’s indoor air quality and react with other chemicals that they might mix within your home.

Solution: Choose cleaning products that have environmentally-friendly ingredients. Do away with those that have harmful chemicals, as these can reduce your home’s IAQ. If possible, use natural cleaners like baking soda or vinegar instead.

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Paint

image of a homeowner painting depicting indoor air pollution

If you recently painted a part of your house and the smell of paint still lingers in the air, you are likely breathing in dangerous fumes. Many of the paints in the market contain VOCs, which have carbon compounds that can evaporate quickly. When in vapor form, these react with other elements and generate ozone. This adds to the air pollution you breathe in. keep in mind that the paint continues to emit VOCs until it dries.

Solution: Use low-VOC paint so that your indoor air remains clean. However, it is best to look for VOC-free paint. Your lungs will be grateful to you if you use this one instead.

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Air Fresheners

Many use air fresheners to remove bad smells in a room. However, these cans also have harmful ingredients. A few of them can produce more than 100 chemicals, many of which are toxic to our bodies. These chemicals can also mix with other elements in the air and have more harmful compounds.

Breathing even a small portion of the air freshener can result in coughing and sneezing in some people. It can also cause skin irritations, redness, and itchiness. Although this product is supposed to help freshen the air, it can reduce your IAQ instead. This is not surprising as air fresheners contain fragrances, propellants, and other additives that significantly affect your home’s air quality negatively.

Solution: Use natural ingredients to remove foul odors around your home instead of air fresheners.

Candles

image of candles that impact iaq of home

They might not look like it, but candles can pose a health risk to you and your family. Fortunately, only candles made of paraffin wax are bad. Paraffin is derived from shale, petroleum, or coal oil. When paraffin wax candles are burned, carcinogenic compounds are released into the air. A study also found that paraffin wax candles generate fumes that can cause asthma and lung cancer.

Solution: Do not use candles made from paraffin wax. If you use candles a lot, opt for ones that are made of natural ingredients like beeswax.

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Aerosol Sprays

Aerosol products include deodorant, hairspray, perfumes, and shaving cream, to name a few. There are even cooking oils that come in aerosol spray cans. These have added chemicals like silicone that prevents foaming, artificial flavoring, and propellants. These propellants include isobutane, butane, and propane.

Sprays are made to emit tiny drops of liquid into the air. This liquid often contains harmful ingredients that are not safe to use. It was proven around 30 years ago that aerosol products pollute the air and threaten the environment.

Solution: The only way to avoid the irritants from aerosol sprays is to use them as little as possible. Most products are available in other forms that will have little to no effect on your home’s IAQ and the environment. Use these alternatives instead.

Dry Cleaning

image of dry cleaning

Dry cleaning utilizes an organic solvent instead of water to get rid of stains and foul odor from clothes and other textiles. The solutions used for dry cleaning can be toxic, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition that affects your heart, lungs, liver, or kidney. The ingredient you need to be most wary of is perchloroethylene or PERC. It is a VOC that causes harm if there is prolonged exposure. It can cause symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness.

Solution: If dry cleaning is necessary, unwrap all your clothes that have been dry cleaned outside. This way, the harmful chemicals are released, and you don’t end up inhaling them. Make sure that you go to a reputable dry-cleaning company and make sure to let them know if any strong odors are left on your dry-cleaned clothes.

 

Conclusion

Managing your indoor air quality means you are knowledgeable about the different types of products you use at home. This way, you understand which ones can cause a problem to your IAQ. Having great indoor air quality will not only be good for your health and safety, but it will also help in the proper upkeep of the environment. By doing these small things, you can make a big difference in ensuring that your home remains safe and comfortable for everyone.

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