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6 ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

"We tend to think of air pooluciton as something outside -- smog, ozone, or haze hanging in the air, especially in summer. But the truth is, the air inside homes, offices, and other buildings can be more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home may be polluted by lead (in house dust), formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon, even volatile chemicals from frangrances used in conventional cleaners. Some pullutants are tracked into the home. Some arrive via a new mattress or furniture, carpet cleaners or a coat of paint on the walls" 

1. Keep your floors clean - Using a HEPA filter vaccum cleaner to clean your floors, mop what the vaccum leaves behind and keep a door mat at every entrance. 

2. Keep the humidity in your home between 30-50%. Molds and dustimes love moisuture, keeping humidity down will help keep allergens under control. Use a dehumidifier with the AC in the summer months. 

3. Make your home a no-smoking zone. "Probably the single most important aspect of indoor air polluction is secondhand cigarette smoke." says Philip Landrigan, MD, a pediatrician and director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. 

4. Test for Radon. Radon cannot be seen or smelled, it is a radioactive, odorless gas that is naturally emitted from the ground. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S today.

5. Use natural cleaning products such as lemon, Theives, and baking soda. In one study, a plug in air freshener was found to emit 20 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including seven regulated as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws. Only the word "fragrance" is required to be listed, the actual coposition of the fragrance is considered a "trade secret". 

6. Liven up your home with plants. Some plants such as spider plants, ferns, and aloevera have been found to increase indoor air quality. NASA research shows that indoor plants like these at as living air purifiers. 

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