Why Indoor Air Quality Matters and 9 Ways You Can Detoxify the Air

Wellness Aug 21, 2019

Your Home is Toxic and You Don't Even Know it...

Indoor air can be 2-5 times more polluted than the outdoors! Crazy right! Considering the average person spends 90% of their time indoors, it's important we are thoughtful about our air quality.

Everything in the home; from building materials to decorations, cooking fuels to flooring, cleaning products to laundry detergent... contributes to indoor air quality.

Photo by Nicole Honeywill

Top Causes of Toxic Indoor Air

  • Poor home circulation allows air to be trapped inside and build-up into bad quality air.
  • Chemical based cleaning supplies give off fumes that circulate in the air we breathe.
  • VOC's are toxic vapors given off from man-made materials such as paints, varnishes, glues, etc.
  • Synthetic surface materials, which includes soft and hard surfaces.
  • Scents given off from candles, potpourri, incense, and even perfume have the ability to fill the air with toxic fumes. Nice scents lure us into false security. In reality, products made with 'fragrance' contain a mixture of chemicals that synthesise scent.
  • Smoke and gases from fireplaces, smoking, and cooking foods.
  • Airborne particles that enter from outside such as, exhaust fumes, carbon, smoke, dust, pet hair and pollen.
  • Microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, yeasts, mites, and viruses.
Photo by Brina Blum

Tips for Detoxing and Improving Air Quality Indoors

  • 🌬️ Ventilate regularly by opening windows, even in winter, for a few hours a day to allow new air into the home.
  • 🍃 Swap chemicals for a natural solution. Natural cleaning products and detergents do exist. They are even simple and cheap to make at home. Look out for candles that list essential oils as an ingredient, while avoiding those that list 'fragrance'.
  • 🌲 Furnish thoughtfully with naturally occurring materials and fibres.
  • 💦 Clean regularly by wiping down surfaces, hoovering carpets, sofas, and mattresses, and washing covers.
  • 🚫 Eliminate the source. If you can get rid of it, do it.
  • 🌱 Fill the home with “air cleaning” plants that have the ability to remove bad air and increase oxygen. Top plants to detoxify your homes air quality include; Peace Lily, Snake Plant, English Ivy, Spider Plant, Bamboo Palm, and Aloe Vera.
  • 👟 Leave shoes at the door and have a doormat to catch microorganisms that may be carried on shoes.
  • 💧 Use a dehumidifier if your home struggles with dampness and mold.**
  • 👨‍🍳 Use fans. When cooking always use the oven fan to carry away gases and smoke and use an extractor fan in the bathroom to reduce the risk of mold.
Photo by Julie Johnson

As always, thanks for reading.
Chelsea ✌️🐌


Activist and organizer with Greenpeace Vancouver. Writes about climate and social justice, feminism, greenwashing, and fossil fuel fuckery.

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