With ailments such as asthma, allergies, hypersensitivity, and hyperactivity in children being linked to exposure to chemicals, families are increasingly looking for ways to maintain a healthy, chemical-free home.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are substances found in many common household products including paints, glues, cleaning products, disinfectants, dry-cleaned clothing through to underarm deodorants. And they all contribute to an unhealthy indoor environment.
That might sound dire, yet it is surprisingly easy to minimise the effects of chemicals in your home – (1) keep it clean, (2) ensure good ventilation, and (3) avoid harmful chemicals wherever possible.
Here are some ways you can make your home cleaner and safer for everyone:
– Use natural, chemical-free cleaners, which are available from most retailers, though it’s always wise to check the fine print. Vinegar, bicarb soda and lemon juice will work in most instances.
– Ensure good ventilation so mould cannot grow. If any does appear, treat immediately with vinegar and remedy the source.
– Avoid using air fresheners, as they can actually contaminate the air with (usually) synthetic fragrance – the best way to freshen air is to open a window
– Place healthy indoor plants around the house to absorb VOCs and other pollutants. The most effective include Mother-in-Laws Tongue (Sanservera), Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), or Draecena.
– Choose natural furnishings and finishes such as untreated cotton, linen, canvas, hemp, wool, silk, rayon, feathers, down, latex rubber, linoleum.
– Build and renovate using natural materials like plantation or recycled wood, stone, clay, steel, brick, glass.
– Finish surfaces with natural oils, waxes and plant-based, non-toxic paints or varnishes.
– Buy and use recycled items where possible.
It might not be practical to make all these changes at once, but each one will be a step towards a toxic-free environment for your family to enjoy.