Domestic pollution. Tips to prevent it | Final Part |

How a house is cleaned and what products are used will say a lot about the quality of the air that will be breathed.

The cleaning cabinet reveals the wide variety of household hygiene products are normally used. The problem, says the expert, is that many of these items contain bleach or ammonia, effective cleaning products, but whose use releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs). And these molecules evaporate into the air even when stored inside the closet. “If we ventilate, for most of us they do not imply a problem; but there are cases of intolerance to household cleaning products, detergent and even fabric softeners," warns the toxicologist.


It seems a good idea to reduce the amount of VOC we breathe. The European Lung Foundation recommends choosing cleaning items without fragrances, because aromas can react once in the air and generate other molecules. It is also advisable to use solid or liquid soaps, whenever possible, instead of aerosols, which leave more substances in the air. And not to breathe so many substances when you clean, ventilate by opening the windows.


Make your own cleaning products.

They are not difficult to prepare and can make a big difference. Our grandmothers were right. There are recipes for traditional cleansers that are effective, and that we can combine with other items. In case of intolerance to cleaning products or to reduce our exposure to these volatile substances. My grandmother used vinegar as water softener for fabrics, bicarbonate to unblock drains, etc. They are more natural products, and also less irritating.


Dust away the dust (using a damped cloth)

Furniture dust acts as a "trap" that retains mites and chemicals of all kinds. In fact, a 2016 investigation identified up to 45 different types of chemical toxins in household dust, including phthalates and various types of phenols.


But just follow some basic steps to reduce exposure to dust, which prolonged contact can also end up causing an allergy. First, wash your hands frequently - just use water and neutral soap - and get a good damped cloth to clean the dust often. Also help yourself with a damp cloth and scrub. Another tip from the toxicologist: "Use the vacuum cleaner." For greater efficiency, there are devices with high efficiency filters to capture aerial particles (HEPA filter).



Keep it dry (and fungi away)

Keep in mind that not only dust, but also moisture, can affect your immune system, as well as exposing you to an increased risk of respiratory problems. To scare her away from home, it is essential to avoid condensation, a frequent phenomenon in the bathrooms, especially during and after the shower. When the tiles turn grey this denotes a fungal problem that can end up even contaminating the sponge with which we wash the body.


Again the first guideline is to ventilate. In addition, there are dehumidifying devices quite effective to absorb excess water from the air. If you are lucky enough to have a window in the toilet, remember to open it or keep it in a tilt-and-turn position, since the air that enters acts with a drying effect and absorbs moisture.


And watch out! If you find mould or blackness on the tiles joints, remove it carefully. The spores can easily disperse and, if you're not careful, you can end up spreading them throughout the room and compounding the problem.


Use and eco paint.

When we paint the house, the gases and chemicals of the product are released into the air. Although this contamination does not stop here, since the fresh paint on the walls continues to release substances even long after drying.

If you want to eliminate this type of domestic pollution, look for paints labelled "natural" or "ecological", because they usually contain a lower percentage of volatile organic compounds.


They are a bit more expensive, but worth its use, especially if you need to occupy the property while the painting is being carried out.

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