Published On: Sat, Jul 9th, 2011

Helping indoor air quality: reducing toxins in the home

air quality in your home

Helping Indoor Air Quality: Reducing Toxins In The Home

By Contributing Author: Kristy Dawson

Safe Haven

The home is supposed to be our safe haven. It’s where we spend a majority of our time with family and in general, therefore it should also be the safest. Even though many homes often provide this feeling of safe harbor, there still runs the possibility of being exposed to toxins indoors. There are a number of toxins that are common within households that are being put off by normal products. Luckily, there are some easy steps and ways to help cut down on toxins inside the home and protect you from environmental problems.

Pesticides and Herbicides

Pesticides are in common use around many houses to help kill off insects. Unfortunately when these chemicals are used inside, there’s a major risk of health problems with pesticides and herbicides after extended exposure. Dangerous toxins such as triclosan and formaldehyde are common in pesticides and can lead to some respiratory issues, asthma, or other health problems. Luckily, there are some easy steps to cut down on the possible toxins from pesticides and likewise herbicides. The first step would be to adapt to not using such toxic chemicals, and if unavoidable only using them on the outside of the home. Secondly, adjusting to a plan of taking shoes off outside of the house can help as well. Too often, kids will finish playing outside and run into the house with their shoes on, unknowingly tracking in pesticides and toxins with them.

Paint

Paint is another common household item that is high in toxins. Most paint is high in volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). Whether you’re using paint for decoration or a project, it could end up being harmful with an extended exposure to toxins. VOC’s are sometimes known to lead to health issues such as dizziness, headaches, as well as nausea. There are many options in most hardware stores available, including low-VOC labeled paint, which will cut down on toxins with use. When doing new construction and renovation try building all-natural wood paneled rooms and with wood, stone or tiled floors. You will smell the difference!

Insulation

Insulation can often be associated with toxin problems, especially in older homes. Asbestos was sometimes commonly used in insulation throughout the 1900’s, but now is seen as unsafe. Asbestos exposure is a known contributor to mesothelioma cancer. Home owners and builders have since stopped using asbestos within insulation, but it remains in some older buildings and structures, including houses. There are a number of organic options in insulation such as spray foam and cellulose that can offer cost effectiveness, sustainability, and no risk of toxins. It’s important to remember that asbestos must be dealt with through a professional, for safety purposes.

These are just a handful of the many toxins that can be present inside the home. While these toxins won’t cause health problems to everyone exposed, it’s always smart to be aware and informed of the dangers that could present themselves. With knowledge of common household toxins, there are plenty of easy steps that can be taken to cut down on risk of poor air quality inside the home.

 

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