How to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

Green expert and author Lori Bongiorno on how to reduce indoor air pollution in your home

Did you know that the air inside your home may be more polluted than the air outside? Eye irritation, headaches and allergic reactions are just a few of the potential effects of indoor air pollution. Luckily there are plenty of things you can do to help your family breathe easier in your house.

Swap out certain household products. Building materials, furnishings, carpets, paints and cleaning supplies can emit harmful, volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some ideas for banishing them: Use less toxic cleaners (low-VOC paints, sealants and glues are affordable and work well. Check labels for products with less than 50 grams of VOCs per liter). Look for formaldehyde-free pressed wood and building supplies. Choose area rugs rather than wall-to-wall carpeting. Air out dry-cleaned clothes before bringing them inside. Replace vinyl shower curtains with those made of natural materials.

Clean regularly. Chemicals can accumulate in household dust, so wet-mop or vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Keep your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances well maintained, and don’t forget to change the filters. Also, fix leaks and eliminate sources of still water to avoid the formation of molds.

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