Our air quality, indoors and out, is a matter of concern for the health of all of us. There are so many ways our health can be adversely impacted by our environment. The World Health Organization (WHO) cautions, “Indoor air pollution from biological agents in indoor air related to damp and mold increases the risk of respiratory disease in children and adults by 50%.” Many of these concerns can be lessened by reducing your greenhouse gas emissions (outside) and avoiding toxic chemicals in household products (inside and outside). Here are 5 tips for naturally healthier indoor air to get you started.

  1. Avoid toxic chemicals in the products you use every day. From cleaning to personal care products, there are always better options that are just as effective but don’t pollute your indoor air. Solutions of vinegar or soap in water can be effective (and inexpensive) cleaners. To find out if your favorite products are negatively impacting your health, visit the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) site here and search their guides.

    To get an idea of how serious an issue cleaning products can be, read Cleaning Products May Harm Female Workers’ Lungs as Much as Smoking a Pack a Day at ewg.org.

  2. Dust, dust and dust again. Hidden in those annoying dust bunnies can be toxic chemicals. Dust regularly and clean with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to ensure those toxins aren’t causing unhealthy indoor air. According to an article written by Dr. Weil reporting on an investigation conducted by researchers from 5 institutions, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The research focused on “peer-reviewed medical literature published since 2000, they analyzed the results of 26 studies that investigated chemicals from current consumer products found in U.S. indoor dust. They found that typical household dust contains an average of 45 chemicals.”

  3. Avoid products made with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like some paints, laminates and composite wood products. Also, don’t let anyone smoke inside your home.

  4. Avoid mold. Be sure your bathrooms are well ventilated and constantly be on the lookout for mold in your home. As mentioned above, mold can increase “the risk of respiratory disease in children and adults by 50%.”

  5. Be sure to change your furniture filter regularly. Experts advise changing your furnace filter once every 3 months. Also, be sure to frequently clean bedding, curtains and other items that could attract dust and other allergens – especially if you have pets.