Friday, March 25, 2011

Easy Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Today's post is a guest blog by Krista Petersen. Krista is an aspiring writer and recent graduate from the University of Central Florida. As a Health and Safety Advocate, she shares a strong passion for the wellness of others in her community and for the environment. Krista uses her writings to spread awareness of such issues to help encourage others to live the healthiest and most eco-friendly lifestyle possible.

With an increased movement for sustainability and going green in Wichita Falls, there are always some new ways to go about helping the environment. One way to make some great sustainable steps is to help cut out toxins in the home, by finding suitable alternatives to some products, thus improving indoor air quality. By finding some of these alternatives, we can cut down the risk of health problems like asthma, nausea, mesothelioma, as well as other types of cancer.

Cleaners and pesticides can be major sources of toxins in the home reducing air quality. Pesticides can be used a ton both inside and outside the house, yet they can be pretty dangerous. A couple ways to go about cutting down on toxins from pesticides is to use them only on the outside of the house, along with that plan, you can start removing your shoes before coming in from outside to prevent from tracking more of these chemicals in. Many of today's common house cleaning supplies, from types of window cleaners to different floor solutions can be loaded with toxins like triclosan and formaldehyde. Thankfully, there are a number of organic options in most stores these days, as well as the option to make your own cleaners as well.

Paint is another common product that can often be high in toxins, thus not good for indoor air quality. When using paint for decorating or maybe even with a project around the house, exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) are a possibility. Most paints are very high in VOC's; luckily there are usually great alternatives available. Most popular hardware stores carry low-VOC paints that are safer and will cut down on the risk of asthma and respiratory problems that can be brought on by repeated exposure to VOC's.

Another way to cut down on a risk of toxins is to have older homes checked for asbestos insulation. Asbestos was a commonly used fiber throughout the 1900's in all sorts of buildings and homes. Workers in many factories with asbestos began to develop mesothelioma, as health officials began to take notice. With mesothelioma life expectancy being particularly low, asbestos was soon blacklisted and removed from many structures. Although not used today, the possibility of asbestos in older buildings and houses around Wichita Falls is a possibility. Using some green insulation alternatives such as cotton fiber or foam spray can also be an efficient, cost effective substitution.

As seen, there are some easy steps that can be taken to improve indoor air quality all around Wichita Falls and everywhere else. By taking some of these steps we can not only improve indoor air quality, but also cut down on potential health risks from toxins around the house.

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