You’d be surprised to know which of the products you use on a day to day basis are releasing contaminants into your indoor air.
A lot of everyday household and beauty products ranging from floor cleaners to dry shampoos can take a toll on the quality of your home’s air. This is because these products contain volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and emit them into your air. These chemicals are not only bad for your air but can be hazardous to your health and the environment.
These are the main products that you use (or mise-use) in your home that are taking a toll on your indoor air quality:
Non-Functioning Filtration Products: Unchanged Furnace Filters
“Often” is the short answer to the long-lasting question of “how often should you change your furnace filter?” — a sure-fire way to impair your air quality is not to change your furnace filter regularly or to use a filter that just isn’t getting the job done.
Typically, you should be changing your furnace filter every three months or so, but this is dependent on external factors (I.e. pets, asthma, allergies) and the quality of your filter. Be sure that you are using the right furnace filter for your living conditions — for example, if you have pets, you should be using a MERV rating of at least 11.
Furnace filters — when changed and selected appropriately — can make a huge difference for the quality of your indoor air. If not chosen correctly and infrequently changed, these products can hurt your air immeasurably.
Spray Products: Hairsprays, Perfumes & More
According to The Atlantic, beauty spray products with fragrances are linked to over 2,000 different VOCs.
The Environmental Science and Technology journal published a study in 2018 that found that the amount of emissions that come from perfume and shampoos — yes, even trusty dry shampoos — is comparable to the emissions from auto exhaust.
Beauty Products: Nail Polish
It’s unfortunate, but it’s true — nail polish fumes can have a substantial impact on your indoor air. Like hair products, they emit as many volatile organic chemicals as cars do.
According to The Atlantic, any product that you have to wait on to dry is guilty of releasing VOCs into your air. This is because these products change states by evaporating or drying as a solid and, in this process, release VOCs.
Cleaning Products: Rug Cleaners, Furniture Polish & More
Have you been wondering why your cleaning products are irritating your eyes and throat? Well, these products are notorious for being packed with dangerous chemicals and ingredients like bleach and ammonia. These chemicals not only contaminate your air but are hazardous to your health. According to the American Lung Association, these products can cause serious health problems.
Fragrant Products: Candles
This may come as a surprise, but as much as scented candles can eliminate nasty smells, they also release nasty chemicals like benzene. Additionally, the smoke from candles gets released into your air and is then breathed in — which can cause lung issues.
Air Freshening Products: Aerosol Spray Products & More
Don’t be fooled – air fresheners may make your air smell clean, but in reality, these products release volatile organic compounds like benzene that contaminate your air.
Next time you buy one of these products, be sure to check out their ingredients list. There are plenty of organic replacements that don’t contain the same level of harmful chemicals as some of these products do.