For most of us, our home is where we spend most of our time. During a normal day, many will spend their time busy at work, however, it is our dwellings that we come home to at night. They are places in which we feel safe, and a private area to rest, refresh and rejuvenate. Since most of us spend a large percentage of our lives indoors, it is definitely worth thinking about the quality of the air and atmosphere within our house or apartment. Interior air pollutants can create allergies, respiratory problems, and a host of other possible associated health conditions. Toxic chemicals are everywhere in the environment, and avoiding them entirely is almost impossible. Lead, pesticides, and other harsh chemicals are among the most common, in the worst cases leading to central nervous system damage, behavioural issues, asthma, cancer, and more. Luckily there is a range of different ways we can reduce the impact of these chemicals and exposure within our homes.
Today on homify we have a few helpful hints that you can employ to reduce the impact of toxic pollutants and aggravating sensitivities within your household. Simple solutions such as getting the dust under control, having your home tested for chemicals, and filtering tap water can drastically improve the ambience and health of your home and its occupants. Read on to learn more!
House dust is a number one cause of allergies in the home. Many individuals don’t associate normal household dust as an issue, but it can greatly reduce the enjoyment of your dwelling. It not only aggravates allergies, but can contain hazardous chemicals including lead, fire retardants, and pesticides. Amazingly, products that may have been used decades earlier in your home may still appear in your house dust today.
The best solution is vacuuming frequently (and we mean frequently, at the very least once a week!). Now, we’re not talking about the standard approach where you Hoover simply the floors and carpets, you will instead need to take a far more meticulous method. Make sure you get into the corners of your rooms, along the floorboards, and underneath furniture. Consider curtains, sofas, and all textiles. As well as a spring clean, it is a good idea to regularly move your furniture (especially bedroom furniture) to avoid trapped dust becoming a problem. Moreover, if you have a home that has old carpet you may want to consider replacing it with a newer variety. Although expensive, many carpets now come with allergy and dust resistant properties, which is perfect if your whole house is carpeted.
The next step is to have your home tested for chemicals. If your dwelling is old and you haven’t renovated, you should find out if your wall paint contains lead. Lead poising can cause brain damage and lead to a host of other issues. Another toxic culprit is radon. Radon is an invisible odourless gas that can lead to cancer. Radon is emitted from the stone or ground upon which a dwelling is built, and within Hong Kong, granite is a top source of radon emissions. Radon concentrations can be found on any floor within any building, so it is important to have your dwelling checked.
As well as having the air in your home checked, you should also regularly test any gas heaters or gas producing appliances such as burners or fireplaces. These can produce carbon monoxide, which can be devastating to your health.
It is time to ditch the pesticides and chemicals from you cupboards. Although pesticides kill cockroaches, snails, garden pests, and mice, they also put your health at risk. The active ingredient in these pesticides is almost always carcinogenic, and can lead to a range of issues. The use of these chemicals can also harm your children, causing asthma and learning difficulties.
The best way to free your home of these toxic pollutants is to simply stop using them. Prevention is the ideal solution, and by keeping a clean home, you will inevitably chase away the mice, pests, and cockroaches. Additionally, chat to a professional builder or maintenance person to come and seal any cracks that may exist within your walls. By fixing cracks and keeping your house clean, you stand the best chance of reducing your need for pesticides.
Filtering tap water is a great way to prevent unknown nasty chemicals from infiltrating your body. Depending on where you live, your tap water may or may not be drinkable, but by filtering it with a good system, you can be sure you have removed any harmful chemicals that may have lingered.
There are several options when it comes to drinking water filters. Firstly, you have the under sink variety. These filter water from your mains water, and offer a range of different varieties. They also are available in differing strengths, from the simple chorine filter, to machines that will completely remove any trace chemicals from your drinking water. In addition to these home systems there are also bottle-type filters that can filter water directly as you drink it, this is far cheaper, but may not purify to the same extent.
There is a reason there are poison warmings on virtually every cleaning product, they simply aren’t good for you! Non-toxic cleaning products are just as efficient as those made with harsh chemicals, and easier and safer to store. If you have children around the home, it is a great idea to switch to natural products to avoid causing or aggravating asthma and allergies. Moreover, when you wash these products into the drain, they further pollute the environment, causing damage to the native flora and fauna.
Do some research and employ products such as vinegar instead of bleach, baking soda, borax, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains.
Last, but certainly not least we arrive at the kitchen. A healthy home is simply about cleaning, but it is also about how we choose to eat. Organic foods contain fewer pesticides and can help avoid creating allergies in individuals. Choose less processed foods, and try to buy local produce.
We hope this inspired you to make some positive chemical-free choices around your home, and to create a healthier space for you and your family. Check out: Healthy design if you would like to continue reading.