The air we breathe in our homes can include pollutants and allergy triggers that lead to discomfort or even serious illness. The very young, elderly or those with existing health problems are often impacted the most by poor air quality indoors — and indoor pollutants can come from some unexpected sources.
A new sofa or particle-board furniture can slowly release harmful volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), such as fire-retardants or formaldehyde, into the air. Here’s a list of pollutants that may surprise you:
- New carpeting
- Cleaning solvents
- Teflon cookware
- Items that have been dry cleaned
- Paints and varnishes
- Air fresheners and scented candles
Choosing low-VOC materials and using eco-friendly cleaning products can significantly reduce exposure to some of the most common indoor pollutants. Airing out new carpeting before installation and using paint or varnishes only in well-ventilated areas will reduce the chemical level released in your home. If that new sofa is just too perfect, or you spent hours putting together that particle board bookcase, you might even be able to counteract the pollutants they are emitting.
To learn more about common indoor pollutants and what you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality, check out these resources.