How to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution has become a significant hidden danger in modern times.
The average Brit spends 92% of their time indoors, which is most of our life! So the quality of the air we breathe in our homes and workplaces can have a profound impact on our health and well-being.
When most of us think of pollution, we think of cars and mass fossil fuel burning that polluted our streets. But some studies have shown that the air in our homes can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, yet most people are unaware of this.
But it’s not all hopeless, we promise! We’re going to walk through our top tips on how to reduce indoor air pollution and create a healthier home environment for you and your family.
What is Indoor Air Pollution?
Before we delve into the strategies for reducing indoor air pollution, it is essential to understand what it is and how it affects us. Indoor air pollution refers to the presence of harmful pollutants and contaminants in the air within buildings or enclosed spaces.
These pollutants can be emitted from the likes of building materials, cleaning products, cooking fumes, dust, and outdoor pollutants that infiltrate indoors
Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
There are many hidden culprits that cause harmful indoor air pollution, and understanding them can help us take preventive measures to keep our indoor air clean. Some of the most common sources of indoor air pollution include:
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): The chemicals found in many household products, such as paints, varnishes, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners. They can emit harmful gasses into the air and contribute to indoor air pollution.
Mould and Mildew: Dampness and inadequate ventilation can lead to the growth of mould and mildew, which release spores into the air. Inhaling these spores can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory issues.
Tobacco Smoke: Smoking indoors can release over 7000 harmful chemicals and carcinogens into the air, including carbon monoxide and carcinogens. This significantly degrades indoor air quality and poses severe health risks to both smokers and non-smokers.
Radon: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep into homes through cracks in the foundation. Prolonged exposure to high levels of radon can increase the risk of lung cancer.
Cooking: Cooking activities can produce harmful pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Pets: Pet dander, hair, and urine can cause allergies and asthma.
Dust and Dust Mites: Dust and dust mites can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Effects of Indoor Air Pollution
Exposure to indoor air pollution can have various detrimental effects on our health. It can cause or worsen respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies, leading to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Long-term exposure to certain pollutants may also contribute to the development of chronic respiratory diseases, reduced fertility, and even increase the risk of certain cancers.
We deserve better and so does the planet.
How to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution in your Home in 10 Steps
If you’re wondering how to reduce indoor air pollution at home, fortunately, there are several effective measures you can take to minimize the issue and create a healthier living environment:
1. Improve Ventilation
Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality. Open windows as much as possible - especially in the Summer when you don’t have to worry about keeping in the heat. You can also use exhaust fans when cooking or showering to allow fresh air to circulate and remove pollutants.
2. Keep a Clean Environment
Regular cleaning is essential for reducing indoor air pollution. Dust and vacuum frequently to remove dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens. Pay attention to areas that tend to accumulate dust, such as carpets, upholstery, and curtains.
3. Use Natural Cleaning Products
Many conventional cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can release harmful fumes into the air. Opt for natural alternatives to eliminate hundreds of harmful chemicals from your home. Feel free to check out our range of natural and non-toxic refillable cleaning products for all your cleaning needs.
4. Control Humidity
Maintaining optimal humidity levels (around 40-50%) helps prevent the growth of mould and mildew. Use dehumidifiers in damp areas and ensure proper ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens to reduce moisture build-up.
5. Properly Maintain HVAC Systems
Regularly inspect and maintain your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to ensure they are functioning efficiently. Change filters as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent the circulation of dust and other pollutants.
6. Minimize the Use of Harsh Chemical Products
Reduce your reliance on chemical-based products, such as air fresheners, pesticides, and anything with synthetic fragrances. Opt for natural alternatives by choosing products labelled as "non-toxic" and taking a closer look at the ingredients lists. Some simple non-toxic swaps you can make are:
Soy candles → beeswax candles
Air fresheners → natural essential oil diffusers
Bleach → natural cleaning products
Teflon pans → non-toxic cookware
Aerosol deodorant → natural roll on deodorant
7. Keep Indoor Plants
Certain indoor plants, such as spider plants, peace lilies, and snake plants, can help purify the air by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen. Place these plants strategically throughout your home to improve indoor air quality (and they look gorgeous too!)
8. Avoid Smoking Indoors (Or Altogether!)
Whilst smoking isn’t permitted indoors in public areas anymore, smoking inside private homes is still a major source of indoor air pollution.
Ideally you’d want to avoid smoking or being around tobacco smoke completely. But if someone in your household smokes, encourage them to smoke outdoors to prevent the release of harmful chemicals into the indoor air.
9. Test for Radon
Consider testing your home for radon levels. Radon test kits are readily available and can help you identify if radon is present in your home. If elevated levels are detected, consult a professional for remediation.
10. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless and odourless gas that can be produced by faulty appliances or inadequate ventilation. Install CO detectors near sleeping areas and fuel-burning appliances to ensure early detection and prevent CO poisoning.
The Bottom Line…
Reducing indoor air pollution is essential for creating a healthy living environment for you and your family. Lots of us think a lot about the food we put into our bodies and what products we put on our skin. But what we are breathing is just as, if not more, important.
By implementing even a few of the tips mentioned above, and being mindful of the sources of indoor air pollution, you can significantly improve indoor air quality and safeguard your well-being.
And if you want to tick one straight off the list, consider checking out our range of non-toxic and natural cleaning products, for a much safer clean. Zero toxic chemicals, zero plastic and zero hassle - just a great clean with gorgeous natural fragrance.