In the last thirty years, there has been a lot discussion about our environment and pollution. However, most of this pollution has been referring to what goes on outdoors. Only recently, the international scientific community has become concerned about the contamination of air in closed in environments, that is- indoor air pollution. An average person spends 90 percent of their time in a closed environment. Considering that winter is here and we are going to be spending more time indoors, ensuring that our indoor air is clean is of utmost importance.
There are three basic strategies to improve indoor air quality.
• Source Control
• Improved Ventilation, and
• Air cleaners
Checking individual sources is an important step to take; in fact it can even be the most effective solution. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions.
Moreover, taking a closer look at your choice of cleaning and house detergents can have a dramatic impact upon the air in your house.
Today, with the wealth of cheap detergents available at the supermarket, it can be hard to make the decision to choose the more expensive “Green” Products.
Eco- friendly products are different because they are non-toxic, non- hazardous and non-carcinogenic. Moreover, don’t let the prices deter you, recent studies have shown that these products are more concentrated and don’t need to be splashed all around in order to attain optimum results.
Often it’s our cleaning methods that need to be changed in order to utilise our products correctly. Some great products available here in Israel are Ecover, ECOS and if you are in Israel, the Israeli company EcoFriend. Check your health store for the options where you live.
Increasing the amount of outdoor air coming indoors can be another useful approach. This can be hard in the Middle East where summer time can be overwhelming, but it is important to know that most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Try to find times of the day when you can open windows and doors, and turn on a fan.
Choosing to work outdoors when you are working with high level pollutant chemicals is also a useful method, for example, polishing, welding, sanding.
Keeping well maintained house plants has been known to assist with cleaning the air. They purify and renew our stale indoor air by filtering out toxins, pollutants and the carbon dioxide we exhale.
The Ancient Chinese Art of Feng Shui notes that by absorbing air borne toxins and pollutants, plants can help reduce stress as well.
Research by NASA showed that some house plants are more efficient in filtering out toxins than others. Of the house plants that were recommended by NASA, many can be found locally in the Middle East region, for example Hedera (kisuss hachoresh), Spathiphyllum, Mauna Loa (spatipilum), Ficus (ficus) and Chrysanthemum, (Hartzit).
It is recommended to allow one houseplant per 100 square feet of living area.
The more vigorous the plant, the more air it can filter.
So there you have it, get cleaning!
Image via manawaar