Indoor Air Quality Improvements

In March 2014, the World Health Organization labeled air pollution the world’s largest environmental risk. Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the World Health Organization’s Public Health and the Environment Department, stated: “Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution; the evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe.” While the United States has worked hard to reduce sources of air pollution, indoor air pollution continues to be a large problem.

Homeowners should hire a professional to test their home for radon gas (a colorless, odorless gas which is a leading cause of lung cancer). They can also buy home test kits for pesticides, mold, and dust mites. If any of the tests reveal an unhealthy level of the substance, homeowners can take steps to remove the pollution sources from their home. The Environmental Protection Agency provides a room-by-room checklist for improving indoor air quality:

1.)  Bedrooms

Dust mites are often found in bedding, pillows, and mattresses. Wash the bedding regularly in hot water to remove dust mites. Use allergen-proof bedding and pillowcases. Vacuum and dust regularly. Clean wood surfaces with a wet rag to remove dust mites. Keep indoor humidity between 30-50%.

2.)  Bathrooms

Because mold is often found in bathrooms, it is imperative to ventilate restrooms properly and clean them regularly. Consider installing a ventilation fan to reduce moisture and mold. Clean the sink and tub regularly to get rid of any mold that may be accumulating.

3.)  Living Room

Because living rooms are a common space, they often contain extra pollutants. Make sure to vacuum and dust regularly and keep the room properly ventilated.

4.)  Kitchen

Make sure to use all appliances properly in order to avoid gas leaks or carbon monoxide exposure. If possible, appliances should vent directly outside. Consider buying non-toxic cleaning products in order to protect against chemical pollution.