YOUR INDOOR AIR QUALITY. IS IT AS BAD AS THEY SAY?
As parents we worry about our baby’s constantly. Are they thriving and happy? Are they warm enough, or do they look too warm, are they getting sick? We worry if they are safe. But one thing we don’t think a lot about is the quality of the air our children are breathing in daily.
Did you know we spend about 90% of our time indoors? Just think about that for a minute. 90% of our time is spent breathing in stale, harmful indoor air. Do you air out your home for at least 30 minutes every day? Or are your windows constantly closed and the air conditioner or reverse cycle air on?
The more I researched air quality the more I learnt about the many things that contribute to poor indoor air quality. Are you aware that gas cooktops produce significant quantities of nitrogen dioxide? Just the processes taking place as you fry, boil and cook at high temperatures produce pollutants.
According to the Environment Protection Agency indoor air pollution can be 2 to 5 times poorer than the outdoor air quality. The biggest contributors to poor indoor air quality are building materials and furnishings, cleaning chemicals, inadequate ventilation, dust, mould and bacteria.
Whilst there is little doubt that air pollution is harmful to lungs. Babies and children are especially vulnerable to air pollution as their lungs are still growing and developing. It’s especially important to think about the materials you place your baby in, and on, as they are constantly exposed to the chemicals in the fabrics you choose, the bedding and mattresses they lay on and from the cot, whose paint releases VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air without you even realising.
Indoor air quality affects your health significantly. It causes respiratory disease, irritates eyes and skin, affects sensitivities and allergies, induces coughing and sneezing and can cause headaches and dizziness. Babies are even more susceptible so be aware of runny noses, dry skin, rashes and allergies. Eczema flare-ups, skin rashes and coughing are some of the evident symptoms that your baby may have been exposed to air pollutants and odorless chemicals and gases in your home.
Now I don’t want to scare you but I do want you to be aware. I had no idea about sources of air pollution and was quite shocked by some of them. And you can only do better when you know better. So, here are my tips for improving the indoor air quality in your homes.
Some simple solutions to improve your homes air quality include:
- Open your windows every day and let your home breathe. It takes as little as 30 minutes to replace the air in your house.
- Buy green/natural cleaners for your home.
- Dust your house regularly.
- Invest in an air purifier.
- Consider a dehumidifier in damp areas.
- Change your AC filters regularly
- Always use your exhaust fan when cooking. Especially if you have a gas cooktop.
- Bring in some greenery. Use indoor plants to filter the air by taking in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen.