Do You Make These Two Mistakes That Taint Your Indoor Air?

Do You Make These Two Mistakes That Taint Your Indoor Air?  From The Zen of Pure Living

—Part 2 of the Series—

Do You Make These Two Mistakes That Taint Your Indoor Air?

 

Do you believe that outdoor air is dirtier than indoor air?

Well, you’re mistaken.

It’s hard to believe – right? You were always taught to be concerned about outdoor air pollution. But, in reality, it’s really the air trapped in your home that is dirtier than outdoor air.

Here’s one important fact you need to know:

—-EPA studies confirm that indoor air pollutants may be 2-5 times higher than outdoor air—-

How can this be?

First of all, you live indoors with the windows closed with the same air being recirculated by your heating/air conditioning systems trapping all sorts of airborne particles inside.

Yes sure, your air filters catch some of the larger particles, but it is really the finer particles and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that cause health issues. And, your air conditioner/heating filters are no match for these airborne particles.

Second, if you’re making the mistake of using air fresheners and the wrong cleaning products, you are adding to poor indoor air quality.

Kinda of disturbing, isn’t it?

Simply by using air fresheners and cleaning products, you are releasing VOCs that could create health issues for you.

Here’s what you need to know about air fresheners.

Bad News About Your Air Freshener

You like your home to smell fresh and clean, so you use spray air fresheners, scented candles and plug-ins. The scents smell great, and you don’t have to worry about your house smelling funny when people stop by.

You’ve smelled bad odors in other people’s homes, and you don’t want that happening to you!
Unfortunately, while you may love the way your air freshener makes your home smell, you may unknowingly be subjecting yourself to dangerous chemicals.

You can read the full article (What’s In Your Air Freshener?), but the facts are simple.

Research shows that air fresheners contain hormone disrupting chemicals and chemicals that are likely or known carcinogens.

Check out this scary example:

—-Febreze was found to contain 89 airborne contaminants—-

Sadly, any freshener containing perfume is problematic. So, whether you’re using scented candles, plug-ins, sprays or solids, it’s all the same.

It’s troubling, isn’t it?

So, do a good thing for your health, and stop making the mistake of using air fresheners or use them on a more limited basis.

The Second Mistake – Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are another source of bad stuff released into your air that you really want to take seriously.

Check out Get The Truth About What’s In Your Cleaning Products for the full story.

Want the simple truth?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has lax regulations for disclosing ingredients so anything labeled as fragrance is largely unregulated and untested.

Fragrances can be any one of 3000+ ingredients – many synthetic, petroleum-based and toxic.

Think that buying products labeled as Green or All Natural are safer? They aren’t. Green and All Natural are marketing terms that aren’t regulated.

Admit it.

You’re a bit dismayed that labels aren’t trustworthy. And, that you are using products with untested, unregulated ingredients.

How do you find the safest cleaning products?

You can easily find the safest cleaning products though.

Use the Pure Living Space Shopping List for the Safest Cleaning Products. Click to sign up for a free printable shopping list that is all set for your next grocery run.

You’ve got what you need to improve your health today, so what’s stopping you?

Unless maybe….you’ve got an evil genius like Mary Todd Lincoln!

My evil genius Procrastination has whispered me to tarry ’til a more convenient season.”

Mary Todd Lincoln

Don’t miss the rest of the series! You’ll learn some surprising ways to clean up your indoor air and more myths will be debunked. Sign up for weeks 3-12.

Eight Reasons You’ll Love Your Air Cleaner

Eight Reasons You'll Love Your Air Cleaner

Several years ago, I bought home air cleaners and I love them. I put them in the bedrooms, in the dining room near the kitchen and in my office. At first I was nervous about the background noise, but I find I can sleep soundly with the air cleaner on low and the medium setting works great in the office and dining rooms. Below are some of the benefits from having air purifiers.

  1. Your home will smell fresh and clean without having to use air fresheners that can be harmful to your health. (Read more about dangers of air fresheners.)
  2. You won’t ever come home after a trip and smell a bad odor in your house and wonder about what your guests might think.
  3. You won’t have to dust as often because a good air cleaner reduces the amount of dust in the air.
  4. You will be healthier since you will be breathing cleaner air with less mold, pet dander, bacteria and viruses.
  5. You will have fewer allergens in your house, so you may have fewer allergy symptoms.
  6. If you buy an air cleaner that removes chemical irritants, then you will be helping your immune system by reducing inflammation. According to Dr. Mimi Guarneri, the body sees polluted air, chemical irritants, second-hand smoke and pesticides as foreign invaders. They turn on our immune system and create irritation that can lead to chronic inflammation. (Read more about VOCs and how they impact your health.)
  7. Odors from neighboring apartments or houses will be removed like cigarette smoke or cooking fumes.
  8. Pet odors will disappear so your house will not smell like your pets.

Check out the air cleaners we recommend and air purifier ratings and reviews.

Suggested Reading:
Room by Room View of Indoor Air Contaminants and Toxins
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

What’s In Your Air Freshener?

What's In Your Air Freshener

You like your home to smell fresh and clean so you buy spray air fresheners, scented candles and plug-ins. The scents smell great, and you don’t have to worry about your house smelling funny when entertaining. You’ve smelled bad odors in other people’s homes, and you don’t want that happening to you.

Unfortunately, while you may love the way your air freshener makes your home smell, you may unknowingly be subjecting yourself to dangerous chemicals.

The facts about what’s in your air freshener may surprise you.

Research Shows Air Fresheners Contain Harmful Substances

The National Resources Defense Council tested 14 air fresheners and found that 12 of the fresheners contained phthalates while none listed phthalates on the label.

Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that are known to cause birth defects and reproductive harm.

If you are pregnant or have young children at home, you should be especially careful to avoid contact with these chemicals.

The Environmental Working Group tested Febreze Air Effects and detected 89 airborne contaminants including acetaldehyde which the EPA has deemed to be a likely human carcinogen.

In 2010, a University of Washington study found that eight widely used air fresheners released an average of 18 chemicals into the air. On average, one in five of these chemicals were hazardous substances highlighted in federal and some state pollution standards.

Half the air fresheners tested released acetaldehyde, a likely carcinogen.

Kinda frightening, isn’t it?

Reading Labels Doesn’t Help

Even if you read the labels, it won’t help because it’s impossible to get a full list of ingredients for most air fresheners sold in the US because there is no disclosure requirement. You may have noticed the word Fragrance listed as an ingredient. The word Fragrance includes more than 3000 ingredients including many chemicals that have not been assessed for safety.

You may think that purchasing products labeled as all-natural or unscented is a good solution.

Sadly, the term “all-natural” is meaningless because it is unregulated, but is used frequently as a marketing term to convey product safety where none exists.

Even worse, products labeled “unscented” that were tested as part of these studies also contained hazardous chemicals.

Aerosol, Spray, Solid, Candle or Plug-in Air Fresheners Contain Dangerous Chemicals

All types of air fresheners contain dangerous chemicals. So, whether you are using an aerosol, spray, solid, candle or plug-in air freshener, chances are you are breathing in unwanted chemicals.

Options for Freshening Without Air Fresheners

So, what are your options for a clean smelling home?

  1. Improve ventilation by opening a window or using a fan.
  2. Use baking soda to remove odors.
  3. Purchase Air Purifiers/Cleaners to remove odors. One of our favorites is the Austin Healthmate Plus™ and Healthmate Plus Jr™. Learn more about Austin Air HealthMate™. It is capable of trapping 99.97% of all polluting particulates so your home will smell clean and be free of dust, mold, pollen, tobacco smoke, chemical vapors, gases, viruses and bacteria. The Healthmate Plus™ cleans 1500 sq ft and the Healthmate Plus Jr™ cleans 700 sq ft. The Junior versions are perfect for a nursery so your baby can sleep in a clean, fresh environment without chemicals.

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Sign up for the Pure Living Space Newsletter. You’ll get The Cleaning Products Shopping List and be entered into monthly giveaway drawings. The Shopping List has the “cleanest” kitchen, bathroom and all purpose cleaners as well as laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Take it with you to easily find the safest products.

Sources:

Common Air Fresheners Contain Chemicals That May Affect Human Reproductive Development; Natural Resources Defense Council Sept 2007

Your Best Air Freshener Isn’t An Air Freshener; Environmental Working Group Sept 2011