Keeping Your Home Healthy
Most people are aware of the impact of outdoor pollution. Smog, vehicle exhaust and pesticides
are recognized as major health threats. But how many people recognize the many dangers inside
their homes? Sadly, very few. Yet our houses are full of irritants that can be absorbed through
the lungs, skin, eyes and digestive tract.
Improved building standards have made newer houses almost airtight, increasing the amount
of allergens, chemicals and pollutants in indoor air. This is particularly problematic in
winter when windows are more likely to remain closed. The increased pollution of indoor air
has been cited by many health specialists to be the most likely cause of a recent increase
in respiratory diseases and conditions such as allergies and asthma.
Other indoor pollutants include chemicals in new carpeting, harsh detergents and even grooming
products and cosmetics. You can help reduce risk to yourself and your family by:
- using as few chemicals as possible around the house. (Hair
sprays, room sprays and other aerosols, oven cleaners, carpet
stain removers and many furniture polishes frequently contain
harsh chemicals.) Many supermarkets now carry "organic" cleaners or you can make your own.
- stay away from pesticides as they have proven severe negative
impacts on health.
- investing in an air purifier to help trap airborne pollutants
- watching what you put on your skin. Soaps, shampoos (particularly
those that contain sodium lauryl sulfate) and many body
lotions contain irritating and allergenic substances. If
you don’t believe that your skin absorbs substances
applied to it, try rubbing a garlic clove on the sole of
your foot. Within a minute or so, you will taste garlic.
- keeping bathrooms and other "damp" areas
well ventilated. This will discourage the growth of harmful
moulds. Clean bathroom walls and wash bathroom mats often.
- When purchasing toys for the kids consider the potentially harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Choose healthy options instead.
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