Many people often think that the air is cleaner inside their homes. The reality is that the lack of ventilation and presence of hidden harmful chemicals can often mean that interior air is full of harmful toxins and chemicals that could cause an array of health problems. Below are some of the major areas where your home could be covertly emitting harmful chemicals:
Carpets and curtains
Carpets, curtains and drapes are found in most households and can make rooms seem cosy and comfortable. However they can also contain harmful chemicals that seep into the air and are then inhaled by household members.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are of particular concern and can cause a range of problems such as eye and respiratory irritation, headaches and dizziness. Over exposure has also been linked to serious issues such as memory loss, central nervous system damage and cancer. VOCs are found in both carpets and curtains, research indicating that VOC levels can be up to five times higher in indoor areas due to the high concentration found in household items and the lack of ventilation. To ensure your carpets and curtains are 100% safe chose natural fabrics, organic fibres and eco-friendly materials.
Paints, sealants and finishing products can be packed full of harmful VOCs and toxins that pollute the air. Many are petrol based and can cause a number or respiratory problems as well as triggering headaches. Using natural solvent free paints and plant based products is an ideal remedy to the problem.
Plastic containers and bottles are kitchen essentials but can also be the source of harmful compounds which can leak into food. PVC plastics contain a compound called phthalate which is known to chemically duplicate hormones and poses a particular risk to children and pregnant women. To minimise the risks look for recycling friendly packaging and phthalate/PVC free products.
What might seem like innocent wood could actually be posing as a serious health threat to you and your family. Boards, insulation, shelving and decking may have been treated with toxic chemicals that seep into the air are then inhaled. Using natural materials and environmentally approved options is the only way to ensure that your home is safe and chemical free.
When possible, always choose solid wood over pressed wood such as particleboard, plywood or medium-density fibreboard as these can all emit a harmful gas called formaldehyde. Also keep in mind that wood may be treated with varnishes or finishing lacquers that could be emitting VOCs and other toxins. Commissioning custom built furniture is a fool proof way to be absolutely certain that your furniture is 100% safe.
If you want your home to be safe, healthy and free from harmful toxins it is essential to do your research and eliminate any items that may be polluting the air. Replacing them with natural, eco-friendly products will ensure your family home stays happy, healthy and safe.