Low air quality stinks! Not only might it actually be smelly, but it can also have negative effects on our health, mood, and more. In fact, poor air quality in homes has been linked to fatigue, asthma, and even lung disease. Despite what we may assume, outdoor air pollution usually isn’t the biggest offender. Indoor air has been shown to be 2-5 times as contaminated as outdoor air in some places. Household cleaners filled with chemicals, air fresheners, scents and paraffin filled candles can further pollute indoor air and contribute to poor indoor air quality. If you experience allergy symptoms, your home air quality could be the cause. Stale indoor air increases the amount of allergens floating around our homes – we’re talking pet dander, dust mites, and mold spores, yuck! Luckily there are many easy and delightful ways to defeat this problem!
Beeswax Candles –Creating a welcoming and warm ambiance isn’t the only thing these guys are good at! As they burn, these candles release negative ions – making them air purifiers. Dust, dirt, pollen, dander, and all the other junk that can be in our air has a positive charge. As beeswax candles burn and release negative ions, those negative ions bind with the positive charged toxins and help remove them from the air. Such a cool process! Our family had a great time hand-pouring our own beeswax candles and placing them all over the house recently, a fun afternoon activity that anyone can do!
House plants – In the late 80s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are emitted from certain liquids and solids found in our homes. Here is a list of some of my favorite house-plants that have been proven to purify air:
Salt Lamps – I won’t be too repetitive because salt lamps work the same way as beeswax candles, just another great option for improving air quality! They are so soothing and relaxing, and have other benefits such as improving sleep and boosting levels of serotonin in the brain.
Last but not least – OPEN YOUR WINDOWS! Even if just for a few minutes, even in the colder months, this simple act can really work wonders for getting fresh air flowing and flushing out toxins!
What is it? QUATS are powerful disinfectant chemicals that are designed to kill germs. Usually these products claim to be antibacterial because they are certified by the EPA as pesticides.
Where is it found? Disinfectant wipes, sprays, disinfectant products that claim to kill germs, fabric softener liquid and sheets
Why should I avoid it? Unless you plan on doing a major surgery operation on your countertop, chances are it does not need to be wiped down with an antibacterial wipe containing QUATs. That would be like trying to kill a fruit fly with a cannonball – if you aimed well, it would totally kill it, but it’s also going to DESTROY whatever else it hits! While they do have the power to clean and sterilize things such as E. Coli & Staph, it comes with great risks to your health. Proving that these antibacterial products are overkill is the fact there is NOT ONE study claiming that those products sterilize any better than soap and warm water. QUATS are lung irritants that can lead to asthma and other breathing problems. They’re also skin irritants and can cause rashes when touched with bare skin. Did you know antibacterial wipes instruct the user to WASH THEIR HANDS after using?! Which kind of seems to defeat the purpose people are using them for in the first place. Craziness! QUATS linger around surfaces long after cleaning, and even contaminate food if it touches those surfaces – even days and weeks after the original wipe down.
Safer Alternatives – Say hello to the “everything” cloth!!! Norwex’s best selling EnviroCloth can take the place of the chemical-ridden antibacterial wipes. Norwex BackLoc contains silver in the microfiber, which makes it an antibacterial germ deactivator!