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How to Reduce Exposure to Indoor Air Pollutants
December 28th, 2018
In addition to professional source control, there are many things you can do as a homeowner to reduce the sources of air pollution in the home:
Look at product ingredients before you buy them, especially cleaners, adhesives, air fresheners, varnish, paint, new carpet, flooring, solvents, and anything that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Look for products labeled low or no VOC. Scented products tend to be the worst. Avoid air fresheners and aerosols completely if you can.
Use a higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) air filter and remember to check it every 30 days to see if it needs to be replaced. Never wait more than 90 days to replace your HVAC filter.
Clean and dust frequently.
Increase ventilation (more on this later)
Read and follow all product instructions carefully, such as paints, glues, and hobby equipment.
Don’t store open containers of paints, gasoline, or similar materials in the home.
Identify and remove the source of indoor air pollutants if you can. If you can’t remove the source (i.e. furniture, flooring, etc.), use the proper sealant on all exposed surfaces.
Instead of spraying pesticides everywhere, implement integrated pest management techniques.
When cleaning and using household cleaners, make sure there is plenty of ventilation.
Instead of storing large quantities of paint, cleaners, and other products that contain VOCs, throw out small quantities and only buy small amounts that you will use soon.
Keep all hazardous materials out of reach of children and pets.
Never mix household products unless specified by the manufacturer.
Remember to always follow manufacturer instructions. If it says to use in a well-ventilated area, it’s best to go outside. If not, make sure there is an exhaust fan or plenty of open windows.