Detox Your House

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Experts say -The lack of ventilation in homes is a major cause of indoor air pollution.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is two to five times worse than outdoor air pollution. And the at-home version can cause or aggravate asthma and allergies, which are on the rise in the United States.

You can wipe out mold, smoke, dust, and other invisible health hazards that have been trapped in your home all winter. Here’s how:

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Gas and fumes from cookers, stoves & ovens

With every meal that you cook, your kitchen gets polluted with a little bit of smoke, soot, and possibly carbon monoxide (if you own a gas stove or range).

Inhaling high levels of carbon monoxide in your home can be fatal; being exposed to even low levels can cause fatigue, headaches, disorientation, dizziness, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 15,000 people go to the emergency room each year due to non-fatal CO poisoning.

Your Detox Duties:

Check your burners: If flames are yellow-tipped, that may mean your stove is releasing too much CO. Call your manufacturer to find out if your burners should be readjusted.

If you don’t have one already, install an exhaust hood vented to the outdoors.

If you do have an exhaust fan, clean it.

Install a detector

pesticides

 

Chemical fumes emitted by certain cleaning products

These can also cause health problems like eye, nose, and throat irritation, lung damage

To reduce exposure to irritating fumes, cut back on your use of cleaning products and look for natural cleaning products from your health food shop.

  •    Pesticides, insecticides and herbicides are a part of everyday life, however many who use these products are unaware of their consequences on the environment and personal health.
  •    Fortunately, these chemicals are not necessary to keep pests away. Throw out all of those toxic cleaning products and replace them with fewer, safer products
  •    Some natural products used to deter and kill pests you might find in your very own pantry; like garlic, lemon, eucalyptus essential oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon oil.
  •    For beautiful smells, explore the use of aromatherapy in your home. You can add a few drops to liquid soaps, cleaning supplies or use a diffuser.
  •    Other natural insecticides and herbicides include pyrethrum (which comes from the chrysanthemum), rotenone (from the derris plant) and Diatomaceous Earth (from the remains of plankton).

mould

Mould

Besides being ultra-ugly and sometimes smelly, mould can trigger allergic reactions (watery  eyes, runny nose, coughing, and headaches).

Research shows that some strains of mould may be highly toxic.

Mould can be found in any place that’s excessively moist like rooms with damp, kitchens,  bathrooms and basements, where humidity levels tend to be high.

To put a stop to growth, you have to control the moisture level in your home.

  • Scrub grout with a mix of 1/4 cup liquid chlorine bleach and six cups water (use a stronger solution if necessary), and rinse. Remember to wear rubber gloves and keep the room well ventilated.
  • Clean both sides of rubber mats with the bleach solution above.
  • Put plastic shower curtains in the wash for five minutes on the gentle setting. If they’re mouldy, GHRI recommends adding 3/4 cup liquid chlorine bleach to the load.
  • Consider installing an exhaust fan that’s vented to the outside, if you don’t have one already. Ventilation is key to keeping bathrooms and kitchens dry and toxin-free.
  • Check cement walls (particularly near the floor, ceiling, and windows) and crawl spaces in the basement for mold. If you find patches, scrub them away with a stiff brush soaked in a solution of one cup liquid chlorine bleach and one gallon water. Do the same thing for painted walls.

control-dust-mite-and-pet-danderDust and dander

A buildup can cause flu like symptoms and respiratory problems.

  • Get your air conditioner ready for prime time. A well-maintained unit can help filter out some allergens — but if the filter, drip tray, or other parts are dirty, the AC may actually allow new allergens into the house.  Have a central air system? Replace your filter at least every three months; if you have the electrostatic kind, clean it regularly.
  • If you have a humidifier and dehumidifier, clean them as well.
  • Vacuum upholstery: Vacuum mattresses, flip, and vacuum again. If there’s a musty smell, wipe surfaces with a solution of one cup rubbing alcohol and one cup warm water. Wipe again with water only and let the bed dry.
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