Well, we all have noticed the increased levels of air contaminating chemicals and pollutants in the air. Industries pumping out toxic gases and vehicles emitting carbon-dioxide are affecting us and the climate in the worst ways. Under these circumstances, even our natural water sources and wildlife are in danger.
As a result of declining air quality, there is a substantial rise in general physiological issues. A WHO news article states that 9 out of 10 people breathe toxins every day. Consequently killing nearly 7 million people each year across the world.
What about the air polluting chemicals and gases in our homes?
The chemicals used in making some of the common household products are very toxic. It is almost unavoidable considering that these harmful chemicals are present in some of the most basic items that we use. Having said that even walking into our homes can be equally harmful to us.
Here is the list of Air Contaminating Chemicals in our homes.
I am not getting in detail by explaining the chemistry of these chemicals and gases rather sharing how it affects us along with the products that emit them. For the more curious ones, I have added links to click to find out more about them.
Formaldehyde is usually found in building materials. Even household products such as our furniture, plywood, personal care products, glues, adhesives, and cigarette smoke have it.
Some of the known issues are coughs, wheezing, nausea, throat and skin irritations. There are regular studies that have been conducted to see if there are relations to the increased number of cancer patients.
Trichloroethylene is used as a solvent for industrial and a variety of organic materials. Products containing this chemical are adhesives, paint removers, stain removers, and wood finishes. It affects our central nervous system resulting in issues like depression and general anesthesia.
It causes mild to severe headaches, dizziness, and confusion although such extremities are unlikely in a home environment. Whereas regular exposure can certainly have long term effects on our physical and mental health.
Benzene is highly inflammable and it is the reason why petrol smells the way it does. It is used in the production of polymers and plastics along with other items such as resins, adhesives, rubbers, lubricants, dyes, and detergents.
High amounts of exposure are known to increase the risk of cancer and other illnesses. One of the nastiest causes of bone marrow failure. People directly exposed are more prone to developing such risks. Knowing the kind of potential risks it carries is better and be particularly cautious when using such products at home.
Xylene is naturally present in coal, wood tar, and petroleum. The items that this chemical are cleaning agents, paint thinner & remover, varnish, and pesticides. This chemical enters your house through the outside air because cars and industries release these in high volumes.
People living close to industries and high traffic areas should be particularly watchful of this toxic chemical. Our respiratory system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and other vital organs can be severely affected.
Ammonia is one of the nastiest smelling air contaminating chemicals, used in making fertilizers. This is considered an extremely hazardous substance in the USA. Some cleaning agents such as window cleaners, bathroom cleaners, stainless steel, and oven cleaners have it.
The bad smell of ammonia can be the first sign that it is present in the product that you are using. Although a regular exposure can build the adaptability which would reduce our ability to detect it. Some of the health hazards include burning of throat, nose and respiratory tract. Inhalation of lower quantities can cause cough and nose irritation.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and tasteless flammable gas which less dense than air. Thus, exposure to concentrations above 35 PPM is toxic for animals and humans.
Breathing this air-polluting gas causes headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Exposure to higher levels of CO also leads to the risk of heart diseases. Even people who manage to survive the CO exposure can end up with long term health issues.
How can we protect ourselves from these harmful toxins?
Now that we know that these harmful air contaminating chemicals are dangerous to our health. We need to take steps that will help us eliminate these products from our lives. It might take a little while before you can switch but taking these steps now can help in the long run.
Firstly, be cautious about what we are using and look for alternatives. More and more people are becoming aware of the harmful toxins and turning to better products. Secondly, search them online, there are a lot of companies and small businesses that make such products which are suitable for us. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of people making such products at home from the basic ingredients that are commonly available.
Other Alternatives to improve the air quality at home.
Air Purifiers have picked up quite a demand in the last few years. Everyone wants clean air in their homes and this one seems like the best option at the moment. The challenge is finding the right kind of machine that does what it says and also doesn’t put a hole in our wallet. Like our AC’s or Refrigerators or heating systems even the air purifiers require regular maintenance.
For some of us, making this kind of huge investment may not be an option. Don’t lose hope, you can still get rid of these air contaminating chemicals from your homes. NASA conducted a study to see how plants fair in improving air quality in closed environments. Well, we all know that plants and trees are the reason why we have breathable air in the first place. The study was enlightening and a total success. So there is a whole list of plants (Air-purifying) that NASA listed out that you can bring into your homes and enjoy clean air. A bonus is that a variety of plants also create oxygen at night.
While things around the world may not look like they are always changing for the best. We all want to change things for the best for our families. Then let’s do whatever’s necessary and ideal for them. Plus, by making these changes you may be able to feel better physically and emotionally. You would want that, wouldn’t’ you?
I hope that this topic may have brought some interest in bringing nature to your homes. Check out my blog on some great looking darlings for your decor. I would appreciate it.