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Indoor air pollution and how to reduce it
According to the British Lung Foundation we spend about 90% of our time indoors. However, did you know that indoor air is anything between 5 to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air? It’s pretty astonishing isn’t it? So we are tackling indoor air pollution head on…
We all know that polluted air has a wide range of harmful effects on our health. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 3.8 million people a year die from the exposure to household air pollution. Harmful effects on our health can include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and a whole heap more.
What causes indoor pollution?
- Air fresheners
- Furniture polish
- Oven cleaners
50% of studies have suggested that being exposed to VOC chemicals, for example acetone and formaldehyde, increase the risk of developing asthma or an allergy. Products which contain formaldehyde must be clearly labelled as directedby EU regulations.
Cooking and heating
Around 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using polluting fuels which release two types of pollutants. Particle Matter (microscopic particles of dust and dirt in the air) and gases. The most well known being carbon monoxide.
Incense and candles
Unsurprisingly incense and candles emit pollutants when they burn. In fact incense sticks release 100x more fine particles than candles when they burn, so high exposure should be avoided. E.g. avoid burning incense sticks continuously through the day.
Particles from smoking indoors can last up to 5 hours at harmful levels which will have a huge impact on others living in the home.
How to reduce indoor air pollution in your home
Sounds easy right? It is, but be mindful of when you do open your windows. For hay fever sufferers it is better to not open windows in the morning when pollen is high. If you live on a busy road, try not to open windows in rush hour. Actually did you know that one of the best seasons to open your windows is in winter!
Use less harmful cleaning products
- Look for products that are allergy friendly, because these have lower levels of volatile chemicals and are usually fragrance-free.
- Don’t use spray based cleaners as they get into the air, meaning that you areat greater risk of inhaling the pollutants.
- Common baking soda is perfect to remove stains, smells and it’s non-abrasive. It’s a great alternative to using bleach based products.
- To tackle tough bacteria, why not try using microfibre cloths. Just rinse, wring and wipe because they are designed to remove 99% of bacteria.
- However, if you want to go up to the next couple of levels, we would recommend wiping down all surfaces with ThermoSphere XtraSAN as it is proven to kill 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria.
Got pets? Vacuum regularly
If like many others, you own a dog or cat, you should be running the vacuum cleaner around the house regularly.
Don't encourage damp
Always try and keep the humidity levels in your home a a minimum. High humidity levels can cause respiratory problems, and provide a breeding ground for mould spores and dust mites.
Ways of preventing a rise in humidity levels, apart from simply opening windows, include avoiding hanging wet washing indoors. Try using a clothes airer rather than carefully balancing your washing on radiators around your home and never ever put damp clothes in your wardrobe. Simply, place your clothes airer in the spot in your home which gets the most sunshine (as long as it’s not your bedroom) and you are done!.
Consider using an air purifier
ThermoSphere Ozone free TeqAir ionic air purifiers mimic nature to recreate natural ion production and act as natural air cleansers inside your home and work environments. They reduce 99% of airborne particles and germs including:
- Fine particles
- Viruses & bacteria
- Pet allergens
- Ensure ample ventilation when painting and decorating.
- Don’t smoke indoors. Go outside and shut the door behind you.
- Always turn on the extractor fan when cooking. No matter how annoying you may find them.