10 tips to improve indoor air

Breathe easy with these simple ways to naturally improve your home's air quality.

By David Steinman

How to improve your home's indoor air quality

1. No smoking indoors allowed.

2. Try to keep windows open as much as possible to allow cross ventilation (unless you live on a crowded road or in a highly polluted local neighbourhood).

3. Install and clean vent filters. If your home has air ducts, these should be regularly cleaned to be sure any rodent or other allergenic materials are removed. Definitely install a physical particle filter on your air vents.

4. Be sure to check for mold levels. Cleaning up any spills as soon as possible is critical to preventing mold buildup, especially under sinks and in showers and bathtubs. Many health food stores and natural product supermarkets offer do-it-yourself mold testing kits.

5. Avoid using commercial home and garden chemicals to kill bugs. These have been linked with increased cancer risk among children. If you must use something, choose the least toxic products. Some health food stores and many natural product supermarkets offer least toxic bug killers that use nonvolatile substances or least toxic compounds such as citrus oils, d-limonene, and pyrethrins (which are mildly neurotoxins).

6. Purchase a certified organic mattress the next time yours needs to be replaced. Use allergy-free bedding made with organic cotton.

7. Remove the clutter. Put away old books and magazines and toys. Or, if unnecessary, recycle.

8. Use potted plants such as golden pothos to help remove chemical pollutants.

9. Remove your shoes before entering your living space. The soles of shoes can track in lead and other heavy metals.

10. Use natural flooring whenever possible and avoid carpeting. If you have carpeting, clean frequently. Use a gentle biocide to kill mold and other biological microorganisms.



Excerpted from Diet for a Poisoned Planet: How to Choose Safe Foods for You and Your Family -- The Twenty-first Century Edition by David Steinman. Copyright 2007 by David Steinman. Published by arrangement with Thunder's Mouth Press, an Imprint of Avalon Publishing Group, Inc., distributed by Publishers Group Canada.

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