Pollutants in the Home
Are there pollutants in your home office? The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates indoor air to be 70% more polluted than the outdoor environment. Those most exposed to indoor pollutants for the longest periods of time are often the most sensitive: the young, the elderly, and the chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Many organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans. National Cancer Association released results of a 15-year study concluding that women who work in the home are at a 54% higher risk of developing cancer than women who work outside the home.
Reduce and Remove Pollutants
1. Use houseplants to improve air quality. Research by NASA found that many houseplants are capable of reducing harmful toxins in the air, such as: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE), toluene, and more.
- Some examples of air-purifying houseplants are Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii), Chrysanthemums or mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium, and Common Ivy or English Ivy (Hedera helix). More examples.
2. Printers. Printers can spray around lots of micro particles of ink, toner, and ozone, a lung irritant. Solution – Set up your printer in a well-ventilated area and try to stand at least 10 feet away from it during a lengthy job.
3. LED lighting. What is LED? A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device that converts electricity to light by using the movement of electrons. Benefits include, reduced energy consumption, they are better for the environment, and they are more economical than traditional bulbs.
4. Reduce the use of toxic chemicals in your home. Safer, more effective cleaning products.
- Use cleaning products that rely on natural solvents and enzymes to penetrate dirt and stains and put them into solution. Do not use products with harsh chemical ingredients. More concentrated formulaseliminate unnecessary water, so less plastic is needed to get the same number of uses. This means fewer large, bulky containers.
On another “green” note reduce paper use with a tool like Evernote. Evernote is a family of products designed to remember things using your computer, tablet, and phone. For instance, when I have an idea for a blog, I can jot it down on my Evernote, rather than a piece of paper. I also use it for home use like grocery lists. I can add my list to my computer or my phone, update either one, and delete each item from my list as I shop and all media tools are synced. There are likely other tools out there too, so find what works for you.
Taking these steps will make our home office greener and help remove any pollutants. We can take matters into our own hands. We can educate ourselves, we can purchase safer products, and we can take steps to remove toxins and pollutants from our homes.