When it comes to pollution, most of us probably associate the word with things such as smog, trafficked roads, and the “dirty air” that exists outdoors. We would likely not think about the air contained within our homes, businesses, or classrooms. Unfortunately, the air found inside our homes can be equally as susceptible to pollution as outdoor air – and many of us are blissfully unaware.
Given that most of us spend a lot of our time indoors, we’re here to share some of the hidden airborne dangers that may be present around you – especially as we enter the holiday season.
Here’s our list of some common household and decorative indoor air pollutants items that may be polluting your environment and the air you are breathing:
1. Scented Candles
Candles are a popular decoration item and while their smell can be amazing, they’re not as innocent as they may seem. Not only do they contain paraffin wax – which emits nasty chemicals, but they also negatively affect air quality. Additionally, most candles have cotton-wrapped wicks which produce toxic soot. If you’re looking to use scented candles, consider using beeswax or soy alternatives.
2. Air Fresheners
This time of year, many of us head to the store and stock up on air fresheners in preparation for the arrival of our guests, but air fresheners can actually cause more harm than good. In fact, air fresheners emit a combination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be harmful. This is due to their scent composition.
So this holiday, be sure to skip the air fresheners and opt for some natural alternatives instead. Vinegar, baking soda, and water will neutralize noxious odors around your home – and won’t be harmful to you or your environment!
3. Cleaning products
Remember those nasty VOCs that air fresheners release? You may be surprised to learn that some common cleaning products are also responsible for emitting VOCs into your home’s air. Luckily, there are several alternatives out there that will make cleaning your home a more pleasant experience.
Stay away from household cleaners that combine bleach with a citrus ingredient named limonene, and opt for unscented products and cleaning with basic, natural things like water and vinegar or baking soda.
4. Wood-burning fireplaces
For many of us, the fall and winter seasons mean bonfires and lighting a fire in your fireplace. What could be cozier right? Unfortunately, in addition to providing a cozy and warm ambiance, lighting a fire can also create high levels of particulate pollution and carbon monoxide exposure in your home.
The amount will vary depending on the size of the room and the ventilation that is in place. You should also avoid burning items that don’t burn effectively, for example, wet wood, wrapping paper, and plastics. These items will create high levels of carbon monoxide which can be extremely dangerous.
Scary note: Short-term exposure to wood smoke could lead to acute bronchitis and if you are exposed to wood smoke frequently, you could develop chronic bronchitis!
Almost every homeowner is guilty of this one – storing half-empty paint cans in the basement or garage. Unfortunately, these cans can give off high levels of VOCS, especially when stored in the garage. This will cause problems for your indoor air quality and may impact breathing – if your cans are almost empty, grab a color swatch instead and head to your nearest paint store for recycling!
What can you do to reduce the effects of these indoor air pollutants?
The indoor air pollutants items listed above are just a handful of the many, sneaky sources of pollution that you’ll find in your home or business. These items can trigger acute asthma attacks as well as heart problems, and even lung cancer. Particularly children and the elderly are at risk.
So what can you do if you find yourself at this year’s Thanksgiving celebration, surrounded by candles and air freshener? Reach for your AirTamer Personal Air Purifier! AirTamer emits millions of negative ions that push harmful pollutants, viruses, and allergens away from your breathing space creating a sphere of cleaner air.
In order to learn more about our AirTamer Wearable Air Purifiers and how they can help minimize airborne pollutants and reduce viruses, please visit our store.