Sick Building Syndrome

Clean Air

Indoor air quality is often overlooked as a cause of illness and stress. The major sources of indoor pollution are combustibles: cigarettes, gas stoves, fireplaces and gas or oil furnaces, and formaldehyde gas that escapes from board products (particleboard, fiberboard, chipboard, plywood, pressboard), foam insulation, synthetic fabrics, carpets and furnishings. Carpet cleaning and fabric treatments for water- and stainproofing introduce harmful chemicals into the home. Other harmful agents include dust, mold spores, bacteria and positive ions from the static electricity generated by synthetics and appliances. Negative-ion generators and ionizers produce negative ions to help clean the air. These machines do not remove dust or pollen, but are very effective at breaking down the particles found in cigarette smoke and smog, making the air clear and odorless. However, these generators cannot remove the toxic gas emissions.

12 Steps to Clean Air

  1. Provide adequate ventilation; open windows and doors to refreshen indoor air.
  2. Reduce sources of indoor pollution such as gas stoves, cigarettes and cleaning chemicals.
  3. Always properly ventilate gas and kerosene heaters.
  4. Vacuum, damp mop and damp dust regularly to remove dust particles.
  5. Increase humidity if necessary by adding a humidifier, bowls of water or plants around your home.
  6. Reduce the amount of synthetics and board products in your home; make sure all synthetic fabrics are washed before use.
  7. Bring plants into your home for air purification: spider plants remove harmful formaldehyde; philodendrons remove formaldehyde and benzene; aloe vera plants are also effective for removing indoor pollutants.
  8. Remove older carpets that cover natural floor.
  9. Regularly maintain all your heaters, furnaces, humidifiers, air filters and air conditioners.
  10. Use non-toxic paint, urethane varnish or hard plastic veneer to seal all board products.
  11. Purchase a quality air purifier.
  12. Since urban centers usually have poor air quality, spend time in the countryside.

Studies show that at least twenty percent of the population suffers from health problems such as allergies and asthma, and is adversely affected by poor indoor air quality. For the remaining eighty percent, common ailments such as stuffy, itchy nose, headaches and fatigue may also be related to poor indoor air. People who are more vulnerable to airborne pollutants include children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with medical concerns.

Source: Encyclopedia of Natural Healing by Siegfried Gursche and Zoltan Rona