The Maids of Portland, Maine

Friday, October 5, 2012

Is Your Home Causing You Health Problems?

According to the U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency, the air inside our homes is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air! Most people spend about 90% of their time indoors so we are actually getting the majority of our chemical exposure in the very place we thought was safe. Relative to their body size, children are more susceptible to indoor air pollutants than adults. Their newly developing organs and respiratory systems are more vunerable to certain chemicals.

Where do these pollutants come from? A common source of indoor air pollution is mold which is a result of excess moisture. The excess moisture could result in mold in your walls and floors. This is usually a result of poor drainage or lack of vapor barriers. In addition to improving both of these, you may want to run an air conditioner or a dehumidifier. Other sources of indoor pollutants are paints that emitt harmful VOCs into the air, and chemicals that get released into the air by furnishings, cleaning products, office products and other everyday products. Chemical exposure from indoor air pollutants has been linked to eye, nose and throat irratation, headache, dizziness, nausea, wheezing and even cancer.

What can you do? Pick paints that are low-emitting such as UL's GREENGUARD Certified paint. Make sure your cleaning supplies are safe and easy. Make your own using baking soda and vinegar. Try to choose fragrance free products. When you buy new furniture- allow it to air outside for at least two weeks. Always paint a baby's room one month in advance so it has time to air out. Buy cotton shower curtain liners to eliminate the toxic fumes plastic ones give off up to two weeks after it has been hung.