Indoor Air Can be Just as Bad for You as Outdoor Pollution
You know outdoor pollution is bad. You certainly wouldn’t want to climb to the top of the tallest building in L.A. and take…Playlist
You know outdoor pollution is bad. You certainly wouldn’t want to climb to the top of the tallest building in L.A. and take a few deep breaths. But did you know that some indoor air can be just as bad for you?! According to John Girman, the Environmental Protection Agency’s indoor-air science advisor, concentrations of air-pollutants are usually 2 to 5 times higher INDOORS than outdoors. Everything from your candles to your shower habits can affect how well you breathe in your own home. So, here are a few things you need to know, courtesy of Shape magazine.
- Leave your shoes at the door. Your favorite pair can track in dirt, pollen and pesticides. So leave them outside and spring for a nice pair of slippers to “slip” into once you get home.
- Buy solid wood. Bookshelves, entertainment centers, tables and other pieces of furniture are often built with pressed wood. Code words to look for on the label are “particle-board” or “medium density fiberboard.” And these pressed woods can contain formaldehyde – a chemical than can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. It’s true – solid wood pieces are usually more expensive, but think of it as an investment in your health.
- Switch to soy and beeswax candles. They’re renewable resources which burn cleaner and produce less soot than candles made from petroleum-based paraffin wax. Also, look for cotton wicks, not metal, and avoid lighting incense – which can release unhealthy amounts of something called “particulate matter.” That’s a mix of extremely small particles and liquid droplets that can irritate your respiratory tract and skin.
- Run a fan while taking a shower. Excessive moisture and humidity create a breeding ground for mold – which can cause rashes and hay fever-like symptoms. And all the scrubbing in the world won’t help if you don’t have good ventilation. So run a fan and keep the windows open for at least 10 minutes after you’ve finished.