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Thursday, October 15

Simple Steps to Clean Your Indoor Air

Did you know indoor air pollution can actually be more of a problem than outdoor? As the seasons change and you’re warming up inside your home, try these inexpensive solutions.

1. Replacing your standard filter with one that is pleated (increased surface area collects particles more efficiently) and electrostatic (helps capture small particles and allergens) can help clean up forced air from the furnace. Look for a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating of ten or higher.

2. Use ventilation fans in the bathroom and kitchen if you have them. High levels of humidity breed mold and mildew. Microscopic particles from these can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and, in rare cases, lung infection or poisoning. Get rid of mold naturally.

3. Lower VOC (volatile organic compounds) exposure by looking for low VOC paints or paint strippers. VOCs can cause headaches and upper-respiratory health problems as well as liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage.

4. Purify with plants, which can remove common chemicals from the air, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide. These plants actually thrive on them! Peace lilies, bamboo, palm, English ivy, mums, and gerbera daisies are among the top air-purifying plants.

5. Pick cleaning products with care by steering clear of ingredients in air fresheners and cleaning products that are known causes of health problems, including cancer and respiratory ailments, says Samuel Epstein, MD, chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition. Go with nontoxic products (or make your own cleansers) whenever possible. -Mel/care2

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