Indoor Air Quality

Natural Healthy Home Cleaning Tips
Indoor Air Quality


It's Time to Clean House With an Air Purifier
(NewsUSA) - According to the American Lung Association's 2005
State of the Air report, more than 152 million Americans, or 52 percent of the population, breathe
dirty air.

     Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency ranks poor indoor air quality as a top
five environmental risk to public well-being? Less than 20 percent of Americans believe that indoor
air can be as polluted as outdoor air. Yet a home's indoor air quality can be five times

     With energy-efficiency savings in mind, today's buildings and houses are designed to
seal air inside. As a result, bacteria, dirt, mold and other allergens are trapped, contributing to
symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and headaches. On average, Americans now spend
about 90 percent of their time indoors.

     The EPA lists air purifiers among the ways to improve indoor air quality. Using an
air purifier will help remove airborne irritants and allergens such as dust, pet dander, germs,
bacteria, mold, mildew, fungi, cigarette smoke and pollen.

     Air purifiers with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters effectively remove
99.97 percent of particulates such as dust and pollen. Better results are achieved by systems that
combine HEPA air filtration with pre-filters for greater odor control and particulate-capture

     For example, Hunter Fan Co.'s QuietFlo True HEPA system incorporates an activated
carbon pre-filter to reduce odors and remove larger particles such as lint and pet hair, reserving
the HEPA filter for smaller, more invasive airborne irritants.

     Clean Air Delivery Rate is the industry's standard rating system set by the
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. This rate certifies performance and effectiveness by
measuring the amount of clean air a unit delivers into a room.

   "CADR is the single most important piece of information needed to make a comparison of air
purifiers," says Gary Feder, vice president of home comfort at Hunter Fan Co. "It gauges real-world
performance, taking into account filter efficiency, airflow and room size."

     For more on HEPA air purifiers, visit

What are the symptoms of poor indoor air quality?
Headaches, fatigue, depression, allergies, poor concentration.

Indoor Air Quality in Your Home
What Causes Indoor Air Quality Problems?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency:             

of us face a variety of risks to our health as we go about our day-to-day lives. Driving in cars, flying in planes, engaging in recreational activities, and being exposed to environmental pollutants all pose varying degrees of risk.

Some risks are simply unavoidable. Some we choose to accept because to do otherwise would restrict our ability to lead our lives the way we want. And some are risks we might decide to avoid if we had the opportunity to make informed choices. Indoor air quality is one risk that you can do something about.
In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.

In addition, people who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for the longest periods of time are often those most susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution. Such groups include the young, the elderly, and the chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease.

There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution.

Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and household products like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously. Other sources, related to activities carried out in the home, release pollutants intermittently. These include smoking, the use of unvented or malfunctioning stoves, furnaces, or space heaters, the use of solvents in cleaning and hobby activities, the use of paint strippers in redecorating activities, and the use of cleaning products and pesticides in housekeeping. High pollutant concentrations can remain in the air for long periods after some of these activities.

Check out the Scorecard
The American-based Environmental Defense website, Scorecard ( provides detailed information on more than 11,200 chemicals.
Scorecard provides lists of chemicals that can cause cancer, harm the immune system, contribute to birth defects, or lead to any of nine other types of health impacts, using information from scientific sources and regulatory agencies.
Chemicals whose health hazards are widely recognized by authoritative scientific organizations are separated from chemicals whose health hazards are suspected on the basis of more limited data.
You can search for information by typing in the chemical's name (or any common synonym) or the chemical's standard identification number (Chemical Abstracts Service or CAS registry number).
Lists are available for 12 different adverse health effects.
For each chemical on a list, Scorecard links to a comprehensive profile and summarizes the scientific reference(s) that documents that chemical's association with a health hazard.

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How safe is your Indoor Air?

1) Does your home have carpeting?
* Carpeting captures dust, dirt, chemicals and everything we track in from the outdoors. Carpeting also outgases formaldehydes and other chemicals used in processing.

2) Do you have an attached garage?
* Carbon monoxide from cars running in the garage (even for a few minutes), will enter the home no matter how insulated the garage is.

3) Do you have any indoor furry pets?
* All pets with fur create some dander, dust and odors into your environment.

4) Do you allow smoking in your home?
* Smoke is made up of over 400 chemicals and will remain in your environment for up to 10 years.

5) Do you use store-bought cleaning products in your home?
* Just because a cleaning product is available in a store does not mean it is safe. 99% of all store-brand cleaning products are highly toxic. The fumes don’t just disappear, but are present in the air and on surfaces until someone touches them or inhales them.

6) Do you dry-clean some of your clothes?
* Dry cleaning uses many chemicals that outgas into your air.

7) Do people live in your house?
* Sounds silly, but people cough, sneeze, constantly shed skin, etc. We are constant
pollution producers.

8) If you open your windows for ‘fresh air’ do you have a street, factory, animals or other pollution carrier close to your home?
* Cars, factory pollution and even farm animals can create odors and/or chemicals that will float into your house.

If you answered YES to 3 or more of these questions, then you may have some indoor air issues that need to be addressed!

Most of the above problems can be easily fixed with some simple Healthy Home tips.
Subscribe to the monthly issue of Healthy Home Tips at
Maybe your home needs an Air Purifier or an induct unit! Contact ~ Healthy Environments, Inc. for a FREE Indoor Air analysis at tor toll free at 1-866-629-6911 /locally at 847-543-8372
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Air Fresheners, Or Are They?

Air Fresheners, Or Are They?
By Kim Bloomer

For years I’ve prided myself on believing that I take a very natural approach to the wellness of me and my family. However, I recently ventured into the aromatherapy market and found out, much to my dismay, that I was wrong. One of the primary “no nos” was air fresheners. Let’s not even get started with all the petrochemicals and other chemicals that are in our other products like lotion, shampoo, conditioners, household cleaners, laundry detergents, and well you get the picture.

However, I thought that air freshener weren’t TOO bad, were they? Oh I was so wrong! I read an article recently by Lesley Grimwood, a registered aromatherapist and member of the Aromatherapy and Allied Practitioners Association. What I read convinced me further that aromatherapy is not just something to be taken lightly and sniffed at! I recommend you find her article and read it thoroughly. (Air Fresheners – Not To Be Sniffed At).

Unfortunately, now the word “aromatherapy” is being applied so loosely in our sales and marketing that “true” aromatherapy may have noses turned up at it because using quality essential oils cost quite a bit more. In fact, if you’ll notice the word aromatherapy is being applied to so many things including, yes, air fresheners.

What I found out from Lesley Grimwood’s article was that these so-called air fresheners are really just odor “disguisers” full of chemicals that are causing some maladies to occur in us. Since reading her article I really went proactive and decided that we would be ridding our home of all of these chemical-laden products. We did so in our yards, laundry products, cleaning, and now personal products. Every single one of the chemicals in these products, especially all the petrochemicals, invades our bodies and they don’t leave unless we do a thorough detoxification! Our poor pets suffer even more because they can get the chemicals we use on our floors into their bodies through their feet!

Here’s what was found in the Bristol University study on 14,000 pregnant women mentioned in Leslie Grimwood’s article: those who used air fresheners daily suffered 25 percent more headaches than those who only used them once per week. It also reported a 19% increase in post-natal depression, and the babies suffered too. Those under 6 months who were exposed daily to the air fresheners suffered 30% more ear infections and 20 percent were more likely to suffer from diarrhea.

Further findings how found how these air fresheners that are supposed to make our homes smell better and in the commercials give us the impression that we will FEEL better, do almost the opposite actually. The findings showed that there was increased anxiety, tension, headaches, depression, insomnia, diarrhea, etc. THAT is supposed to make us feel better?

Well, I have found the better alternative to these horrible air fresheners – essential oils diffused through a cold-air diffuser or mixed with spring water in an amber glass spray bottle. The incredibly great thing is that when essential oils are diffused into the air they don’t just make the air seem fresher, the air IS fresher. Different ones do different things but they do affect every facet of your body in a positive, healing way. The oils when diffused can be into every cell of your body within seconds.

The essential oils have adaptagenic qualities so that they seek out where they are needed in the body. An essential oil is the lifeforce of the plant similar to our blood and immune system so they adapt very well in our bodies. They don’t harm our bodies like the chemicals in these air fresheners are doing. Rather, they are helping our bodies while cleaning the air. Yes, I say CLEANING. The air really IS fresh after a diffusing of your favorite essential oils into the air.

Essential oils oxygenate and detoxify the blood in our bodies simultaneously. They create an environment where pathogenic organisms cannot live! With all the chemicals we’re getting into our bodies through all the products we have in our homes, in our yards, in our air, in our foods, our bodies are degenerating because they cannot get rid of these toxins without help. This then can lead to disease.

However, when we inhale the essential oils either through a diffuser or directly or even by applying them to our bodies (I even ingest orally some of the ones I use as does my husband and our dog) the oils cross the blood-brain barrier and clean out the petrochemicals!! They’re the only known substances that are able to do this!! And you just thought they smelled good!

So the next time you want to freshen things up in your home, try an essential oil instead and have true clean air!

DISCLAIMER: The only oils we use and refer to in ALL our articles are Young Living Essential Oils. We DO NOT use any others and do not state what we do about using essential oils in our articles about any other brands

About the Author: Kim Bloomer is a natural pet care educator helping pet owners learn alternative and natural ways to care for their pets. To learn more about the essential oils visit her pet care & supply website at Aspenbloom Pet Care Visit her dog's blog to learn more about caring for pets naturally from a canine perspective at A Dog's View
Kim is now a USA Representative for the Bella Moss Foundation.

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