Living in the Sunshine State, we often prioritize our outdoor air quality, keeping a watchful eye on our local forecasts. However, what about the air inside our homes? Surprisingly, it can sometimes be more polluted than the air outside. Many residents are unaware of the common household items silently releasing pollutants into their living spaces. Let’s shine a light on five of these unassuming culprits.
1. Scented Candles: While they’re perfect for setting a cozy ambiance, many scented candles release pollutants when they burn. Paraffin candles especially, emit benzene and toluene—two volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Opting for beeswax or soy candles can be a healthier alternative, giving you the warm glow without the unwanted chemicals.
2. Air Fresheners: It’s ironic, but those sprays and plug-ins designed to improve your home’s scent might be doing more harm than good. Many contain phthalates, which can irritate the eyes and respiratory system. Consider natural alternatives like essential oil diffusers or simply opening a window to let in the fresh Florida breeze.
3. Household Cleaners: From window sprays to floor cleaners, many cleaning products have VOCs, ammonia, and other chemicals that can affect air quality. Thankfully, there are numerous green cleaning brands on the market, or you can make your own eco-friendly cleaners using common ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.
4. Plywood and Particle Board Furniture: Many pieces of manufactured wood furniture release formaldehyde, a common VOC. While the emissions decrease over time, it’s still a factor to consider, especially if you’ve recently added new pieces to your home. Ensure good ventilation, or seek out furniture labeled as low-VOC or formaldehyde-free.
5. Paints and Solvents: That fresh coat of paint might brighten up a room, but it can also bring VOCs. If you’re planning a home makeover, look for low-VOC or VOC-free paints. And always remember to paint in a well-ventilated area, allowing fumes to dissipate quickly.
In our quest for a comfortable and stylish home, it’s essential to be mindful of the air we breathe. By making informed choices and seeking out cleaner alternatives, we can reduce indoor pollution and ensure our homes remain the safe havens they’re meant to be. And if you ever have concerns about your indoor air quality, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at AirNow. Your health and comfort are always our top priority!