It is estimated that in the United States we spend 80-90% of our time indoors. Indoor air pollution can sometimes be 2-5 times higher, and occasionally 100 times higher than outdoor air. Indoor air includes the air inside schools, houses, offices and vehicles.
Some causes of polluted indoor air are:
|Radon Gas||Naturally occurring radioactive gas in soil enters buildings through cracks and openings in floors and walls that touch the soil.|
|Secondhand Smoke||Smoke from burning tobacco.|
|Cooking and Heating||Any fuel burning appliance (fireplace, gas cook stove, furnace) that is not vented or is improperly vented releases gases or small particles into the indoor air.|
|Paint, air fresheners, cleaning supplies, pesticides, furniture||Vapors from these products go into the air when they are used or while they are stored.|
Mold, dust mites
A few things you can do to reduce indoor air pollution:
- Test your home for radon.
- No smoking allowed indoors.
- Use low or no-VOC paint when painting and if this isn’t possible open windows to circulate fresh air.
- Choose non-toxic cleaning products
- Choose non-toxic pest control methods, especially indoors
- Choose ground coverings made from natural fibers
- Avoid wall-to-wall synthetic carpet
- Make sure high moisture areas are well ventilated to avoid mold and mildew
- Avoid air fresheners
- Have plants indoors to filter air pollutants
- Select environmentally preferred furniture that has recycled content and uses glues, finishes and padding low in VOCs and formaldehyde