Sometimes it is easy to miss the simple opportunities to improve the environment in which we live as we strive for the big gains. One area which can have a significant impact on the health of those living in a property is the quality of air. The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patient Association estimate that we spend 90% of our time indoors. However, did you know that air pollutants in the workplace and home can be to 10 times higher than those outdoors?
So, what can we do to improve air quality and airflow in the home and the workplace?
Reduce the use of spray cleaning/decorating products
Over the last 20 years much has been made of chlorofluorocarbons which have been shown to be extremely damaging to the atmosphere. Therefore, it makes sense to reduce the use of spray cleaning/decorating products which can release an array of different chemicals into the atmosphere. While excessive use of cleaning products should be avoided at all costs, where you do need to use them it is advisable to use solid/liquid products. This reduces the amount of chemicals released into the atmosphere and hence the amount we inhale.
Ban tobacco smoke
Despite the fact that governments across the world continue to introduce restrictions and regulations to combat tobacco cigarettes, it is still a very popular activity. However, research shows that the tiny particles present in tobacco smoke can hang around the home as a near clear cloud for up to 5 hours. Regular smoking of tobacco products in the home can also have a material impact upon the decor often adding an uncomfortable yellow glaze which is more visible when walls and ceilings are partially repainted white.
Keeping your home ventilated is very simple but extremely effective when it comes to issues such as dust mites. We know that dust mites thrive in moist atmospheres therefore a regular air flow through your property will reduce moisture and thereby reduce the number of dust mites. We know that certain dust mites can cause allergic reactions and are extremely unhelpful with regards to an array of medical conditions. In is not difficult to keep your home ventilated, we are not talking about opening all of the windows but enough to creating a regular air flow around your property. The effect is more prominent if done while carrying out activities such as bathing and drying laundry which can increase moisture levels substantially.
The issue of air purifiers is very tricky and one which attracts an array of different views. There is an argument they can be very useful when looking to remove certain pollutants from the atmosphere while they can also create an “over sterile” environment. The problem with an over sterile environment is that this can reduce the impact of the body’s immune system which helps to fight infection and foreign particles entering the body. So, while it is useful to have clear air it is also useful to maintain a relatively strong immune system. There is a balance where both can be encouraged.
There is no doubt that reducing moisture levels across your home will create an atmosphere which is not conducive to growing rates of dust mites. There is also the issue of limiting the use of sprays which can release potentially damaging chemicals into the atmosphere. The issue with tobacco cigarettes is more obvious and one which many people have already addressed. So, while environmental campaigners often look towards high ticket successes in the fight to protect the environment, there are many “low hanging fruit” which we can all grab to improve our living environment.