The air inside your home may be more polluted than outside. It’s called “fresh air” for a reason. Indoor pollutants range from dust mites, to off-gassed of chemicals in our furniture and wall paint that have turned vapors called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These pollutants are invisible to the eye, but they’re there. And since you’re breathing the air for hours on end, it might as well be as clean as you can get it.
Flooring products like carpeting and vinyl can release harmful VOCs if they contain certain adhesives, backings, and sealants. Check with manufacturers and choose flooring materials that minimize chemical off-gassing. Choose hardwoods with a Forest Stewardship Council certification help ensure sustainable forestry or reclaimed wood flooring including. bamboo, cork, linoleum, concrete, stone or tile. Use non-toxic floor cleaning products that don’t have artificial scents or harmful chemicals.
It’s been proven that house plants help purify indoor air. Some suggestions include aloe vera, spider plants, Gerber daisies, snake plants (also known as mother-in-law’s tongue), English ivy, azaleas and chrysanthemums. As long as they’re living, get your green thumb on.
Look for products with Greenguard Gold certification. These windows have undergone rigorous testing and certification from UL Environment to verify they meet stringent standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air during use.
The EPA recommends you have plenty of fresh air and ventilation when doing any type of remodeling that may release VOCs, such as painting or flooring. It’s also important to change your heater and air conditioner filters on a regular basis.
VOCs are low-level toxic emissions that can seep into the air for years after the initial application. They used to be a necessary evil to make paint perform properly, but new regulations and consumer demand have led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes. Only use these types of finishes for interior house paint and do your research if you have any questions about what is going on your walls.
Toxins released from chemicals in the bedroom can be one of the most significant sources of daily exposure to pollution. These chemicals can stem from linens, textiles, carpeting, furniture and conventional mattresses and are produced from components used to create each product.
Like shopping for paint, make sure your bedroom furnishings and products are low-VOC, low-formaldehyde or organic. Look for eco-foam mattresses and non-toxic pesticide free cotton, silk, or fleece sheets. Hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers should also be used.