Tuesday, 16 September 2014


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Pollution continues to be a relevant issue even today as we turn our attention to the indoor. Indoor air is more polluted than before because of substances such as moulds, mildews, allergens, odours, cooking oil fumes,, building materials and furnishings,that stay in the atmosphere such as carbon monoxide. If we want the air inside our house to be purer, we should know what to avoid.

Volatile components are emitted into the air from certain building materials that give rise to allergies, eye irritation and breathing problems. These VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) or poisonous pollutants such as formalde-hyde, benzene and trichloromethylene are present in products that we commonly use.

When you select paints for your house you should be aware of the facts. Paints were earlier made from solvents based on petroleum. Paints with low VOCs are made today by using water as a solvent. As they have reduced off fassing (emitting of toxins) these paints lead to healthy interiors.

Before you decide on the chouce of wooden boards you use, check the adhesive used. Boards such as plywood, particle boards and medium density boards quite frequently utilize formaldehyde based resins to hold hyde based resins to hold together the wood components. When the fumes of this VOC touch the eyes, the eyes will water.

It is advisable not to have wall to wall carpets in homes, as they are filled with allergens. Bacteria, mould, mildew, dust mites and animal hairs are found in them. If you muse use them, you should have regular and thorough professional cleaning done for them. Smaller carpets are easier to clean and so are to be preferred. Cotton carpets are easier to clean than those of wool and synthetic fibres.

Cotton furnishings are easier to clean and maintain considerably reducing the problem of dust allergens. Furnishings that can be washed and dried are better than ones which can only be dry cleaned. Short term allergies can often be caused by chemicals given off from dry cleaned articles.

Lacks of ventilation is also a major cause for unhealthy interiors. Natural ventilation is helped by good placement of doors and windows. Cool air usually comes in through windows facing south and east. Cross ventilation is facilitated by having large windows on one side of the house with smaller openings on the other side.

Mesh screens should be used if opening doors and windows is difficult on account of mosquitoes. Shutters or doors that are louvred help in ventilating air. Bathrooms and kitchens should be fitted with exhaust fans and kitchens could even have electric chimneys. For circulation of air it is good to have electric fans. Frequent cleaning of air conditioners improves the air quality.

The quality of indoor air becomes better through the presence of plants in the room. Studies undertaken all over the world testify that plants act as strong air purifiers. According to some studies, specific VOCs can be combated by certain specific plants. Spider plants, philodendron species, Boston ivy and rubber plants are good purifiers on the whole.

The wet top soil should not contain any moulds and water must be emptied from the plate regularly so that mosquitoes don't breed. Leaves should be wiped or washed regularly to keep them free of dust. Organic pesticides like neem cakes are preferable to chemicals. If you desire to have healthy interiors try to use natural materials as furnishings and accessories in order to keep your selection 'green'.


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