Monday, April 25, 2011

AIR FRESHENERS: HARD TRUTH

DO YOU USE AIR FRESHENERS? You are not alone. Watch the shelves at the supermarket and you will see air fresheners in all sizes and packs and types of fragrances to tempt you to pick one,two or more for home, office, schools, car and wherever people gather.

Air fresheners is big market. What prompts the purchase of air fresheners? In the name of "AIR CARE.... I CARE", people pick these up for use.  

Unfortunately, lack of awareness and ignorance prompts these purchases. When truth is understood, even what they have bought but not unwrapped yet  will fly out the nearest window or into the nearest bin.  

The real impacts of being exposed to and using these products on indoor air quality and health is frightening. Would you like some hard truth? 

Air fresheners never “freshen” the air.
They merely mask odors, just add a fragrance leaving one feeling good with false belief that air has been "freshened". Everything that was in the air including dust, smoke, fumes and toxins remain. Nothing has been removed and with that we inhale the synthetic fragrance which interferes with ability to smell by coating the nasal passages with an oil film. What is in theses and what is the risk?

Some of the toxic chemicals that can be found in air fresheners include camphor, phenol, ethanol, formaldehyde, and artificial fragrances (a mix of toxic chemicals). These chemicals can cause symptoms like headaches, rashes, dizziness, migraines, asthma attacks, mental confusion, coughing and more. Some of the substances in air fresheners are linked to cancer or hormone disruption.

Studies do show that women who used more household cleaning products, including air fresheners and mold removers, had higher risks of breast cancer. Many air fresheners contain toxins which have been linked to birth defects and reproductive harm. Symptoms and sensitivities vary from person to person, and  children are particularly more susceptible.

What to do? Look Before You Spray. 


Read labels. If you see the word “Fragrance,” it is likely that the manufacturer is taking advantage of your ignorance and is using synthetic fragrance. Look instead for specific essential plant oils, preferably organic. Do a Sniff Test.


Before buying any fragrance product, natural or not, spray some from a tester to see whether it produces sneezes or itchy eyes. Strong fragrances, particularly citrus or pine, can provoke irritation and allergic/asthmatic reactions. And remember, when it comes to any perfume, a little goes a long way, so you need not overdo it.

Recommended methods of freshening indoor air naturally is by doing simple things like opening windows and doors in the mornings and letting the clean outside air to flow through the home or office. Similarly after the shower or heavy downpour. Nature has washed the air outside. Now, let the breeze in through the open doors and windows. 


Indoor plants help as well.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY

IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY

It's been proven over and over again, that literally throughout the world, indoor air quality in homes is many times worse off than outdoor air quality. 
This is no good news for allergy sufferers, but infants, stay home mothers, the elderly and the weak who spend their life totally in doors. This includes office workers as well. People at large are 70% to 90% indoors. 
  
Modern buildings construction are"sealed" concrete, steel and wood structures
that inhibit air circulation. For lack of ventilation, indoor contaminants recirculate
again and again and build up in volume and content within homes and offices. 

Improving indoor air quality is a challenge. The concerned want to know and 
act to ensure improved air quality. This is to improve breathing and to reduce all
sorts of symptoms like red or watery eyes, itchy skin, asthma attacks, sinus, colds
and other respiratory and skin related ills and disorders.

Indoor pollutants can also include molds, dust mites, tobacco, smoke (from cooking),
pollen,pet dander,pet hair and fumes of aerosol cans, paints, varnishes, electronic 
and electrical gadgets and so on. How do you get rid of or reduce these in your home
and your office? 

There are good and great ways ways to improve air quality in home or office.
Improving Ventilation
Find opportunities to increase the amount of outdoor air that flows into your home
or office. This will facilitate air exchange and improve air quality. After a down-pour
is ideal, as you get nature washed dust free air and so are the early morning hours
when air is dense. Air conditioning units pollute, if vents,filters and ducting is not
cleaned regularly. So do conventional bag and canister based vacuum cleaners.  
Open doors and windows ventilation is good when painting, cooking, cleaning etc is 
taking place. Fumes not only smell but are air contaminants. They must be vented
outside and replaced with fresh, clean air.
Controlling the Sources of likely air pollutes. 
Source control and correction is important. If you want improved air quality, you need 
to treat and take better care of the air! Get an air inspector to check the type of 
pollutes indoors, to identify the source and correct to minimise or eliminate. 
Don't smoke in your house. Asbestos; furniture varnishes, and aerosols also add to indoor pollution. Pets are another source of indoor pollutes. Carpets and heavy fabric need to 
regularly cleaned, to minimise dusts accumulation. Moisture control is important and damp
walls, basements need to be corrected.  
Air Purification 
Air purifiers and air cleaners help as well. Smaller units may not have the capacity to
suit differing room sizes, and larger units will be costly with need to change filters.
Some are expensive and sophisticated. Their common function is generally removing 
particle floats and pollutants like dust, pet furs and dander, smoke and fumes. In respect
of removing gases, odour and toxins, the make of the unit determines. Ensure that these units do have HEPA FILTERS and these must be replaced regularly. 


Complimentary in-door air quality demos in Kuala Lumpur/ Selangor, Malaysia on request from  016-3712762