It is easy to assume that the air we breathe is toxic due to outside causes such as carbon emissions, volatile organic compounds, burning fossil fuels, and widespread use of nicotine products.
But in many cases, the true causes of air toxicity lie much closer to home, and even inside your own home!
For many of our clients, there is an initial shock when they receive their indoor air quality test results. That shock often deepens when we review the test results together and highlight possible sources for the found toxins.
The good news is, that initial shock can move you through the necessary learning curve quite quickly, so you don’t spend one second longer than you have to breathing in toxic indoor air. Because the truth is, most people simply do not realize there are so many hidden toxins hiding out in plain sight in our homes and workplaces!
In this post, learn six tips to flush out hidden home toxins and keep them out for good.
Tip 1: Choose your home improvement products carefully
Thanks in large part to reality television and social media platforms like Pinterest, do-it-yourself home improvement projects have become very popular today. Learning to oversee your own repairs and renovations can be a real money-saver, but there can be another, less well-known cost in terms of your health.
Many adhesives, glues, paints, primers, varnishes, stains, and composite building materials are also manufactured using components known to cause symptoms from over-exposure.
Tip 2: Thoroughly research any new furniture purchases
Numerous studies now confirm that new furniture may bring toxic fumes and gases into your home.
You can read about one newlywed couple’s sad story of formaldehyde over-exposure as told by CBC News.
While North American furniture manufacturers are not currently required to provide by law to provide their products’ emissions levels, it can be a wise idea to do your own research, especially if you have any individuals in your household with special health issues.
Oprah released a helpful list of furniture and home furnishings that have been known to contain potent toxins.
As Oprah points out, it is also critical to note that just because an item is “vintage” or antique does NOT mean it is not toxic.
Tip 3: Try not to purchase carpet and opt for tile or wood instead
New carpeting sure does feel good under tired, achy feet. But it may not feel so good when you breathe it in.
New carpeting has been implicated as containing significant quantities of potent chemicals, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and other volatile organic compounds too complicated to pronounce.
Health experts state that some new carpet is so densely packed with VOCs that symptoms can set in as quickly as just 60 minutes after installation!
Symptoms reported include headaches, dizziness, nausea, respiratory irritation, nerve impairment, coughing, and shortness of breath. Very young and elderly family members along with asthma sufferers tend to experience the most serious symptoms.
Tip 4: Beware the soggy houseplant
Taking proper care of different species of houseplants can prove more challenging than anticipated, even with the help of those handy “how to care for me” inserts many plants today come with.
Figuring out how much to water each plant and how often and when is also an ongoing challenge. Not enough water, and your new plant will wither and die. Too much water, and your plant will reward you with mould and mildew spores that waft through your indoor air and set up colonies in your home’s dark, damp places.
Mould and mildew spores represent a major issue for many Canadian homeowners today, so much so that many Canadian agencies have included identification and cleanup tips on their respective websites.
Mould in particular can cause a range of health issues as diverse as respiratory distress, allergic reactions, wheezing, asthma attacks, and lung infections. For this reason, currently the only “safe level” for mould is set at zero.
Tip 5: Remember, outdoor toxins travel easily
Here, we are not talking about smog or fossil fuel emissions. The outdoor toxins we refer to are much closer to your home – in fact, they are right outside in your lawn and garden.
Today’s modern pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides do their job very well. Unfortunately, in addition to killing weeds and bugs, these toxic compounds can also adversely affect human and pet health.
The most common way that pesticides travel indoors is on your shoes and outerwear. By removing your shoes and changing your clothes, you can keep pesticides from circulating in your indoor air supply.
Tip 6: Keep an eagle eye on vents, registers, and ducts.
Just as a layer of dust will build up on furniture and furnishings when you’ve been away from home for a time, so too will dust build up inside vents, registers, and air ducts after months or years of continuous use.
Since the primary purpose of these internal home structures is to facilitate the movement of clean, temperature-controlled air from room to room, you want to keep them as clean as possible. The more dust and debris that collects inside, the more easily toxins can also be trapped and added to your indoor air supply.
Want the Toxins Gone for Good? We Can Help!
Clean Air Solutions, a sister company to Shipton’s Heating & Cooling, was launched in response to increasing concerns about toxins, chemicals, and poisons in our shared air supply. We can’t do anything to control the outside smog, carbon emissions, or fossil fuel burning that goes on daily, but we sure can make a positive impact on the quality of the air inside your home!
We offer three duct cleaning packages to restore your indoor air to a pure, oxygen-rich, clean, fresh, and breathable resource you can trust. Give us a call at 905-544-2470 to schedule your indoor air duct cleaning service consultation!