In creating your dream home you are likely to end up with a plethora of chemicals in the form of paints, polishes, preservatives, and more. However, some of these products, particularly cheaper alternatives, contain harsh chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are a major cause of indoor air pollution. Depending on the gas emitted, VOCs have adverse short-term or long-term effects on our health.
Here are a few ways you can curb indoor pollution and create a toxin-free home.
- Purchase the right paints
In today’s world of interior design, there are plenty of eco-friendly paint options. Look for paints labeled as ‘zero-voc’ or ‘low-voc’ as these contain safe levels of chemicals. You can also opt for a natural alternative. Paints made from natural compounds such as tree resins, water, plant oil, essential oil and natural dyes are usually free of harmful chemicals and do not trigger health issues.
- Keep your home ventilated
Tight spaces trap gases emitted by VOCs inside your home. On the other hand, a well-ventilated space circulates enough fresh air to reduce concentration of VOC. Keeping windows and doors open or installing plenty of air vents can help improve ventilation. But to truly maximise ventilation at home, consult expert interior designers in Chennai for an appropriate home design.
- Bring back the old
Love the smell of new furniture? It may not love you back. New cabinets, tables, couches, and even mattresses often contain several synthetic materials that release VOCs causing the ‘new’ smell that lingers in the air for a few weeks. Antique or repurposed furniture pieces would have off-gassed the chemicals in the first few years of their life, making them safer to use in your home.
- Store it well
When storing VOC-high products such as paints, cleaners, and varnish at home, the chemicals in the materials can sometimes ‘leak’ and pollute the air, putting you and your family at a higher risk of chemical exposure. Therefore, we recommend that you only buy what you need when it comes to paints, solvents, caulks, etc. If you need a supply of these on hand, then store them outside your home in a separate shed or garage.
- Use air purifying plants
Choose indoor plants that absorb the pollutants from the air and see an instant improvement in the indoor air quality. Plants like aloe vera and bamboo absorb formaldehyde and benzene while the weeping fig is a great addition to a home with ammonia and trichloroethylene in the air.
Get ready for cleaner air!
If you’ve done the above steps, congratulations! You’re now well on your way to having a toxin-free home and living a healthier life. Of course, this just steps one on your way to an eco-friendly home. Our blog “Sustainable Homes 101: The Top 5 Tips for An Ecological Home” goes more in-depth about other aspects of building an eco-friendly dwelling.
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