Did you know that indoor air can contain more toxic chemicals than outdoor air?
Have you ever brought home a new carpet, opened a vinyl shower curtain, gotten a new mattress for your bed, or opened a package of kids’ pajamas and the first thing you notice is the release of toxins into the air?
There are many toxic chemicals lurking in your home, including formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound that's emitted in low levels by a variety of household building products and furniture. It may cause cancer and has been known to trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions when present in high levels.
Formaldahyde is found in glues that hold particleboard furniture and cabinets together. It’s also emitted by natural gas stoves, carpet glues, flooring glues, caulks, sealants, paints, furniture finishes, and the stain-repellent finishes applied to upholstery and clothing.
A few other things that introduce harmful chemicals to indoor air are "air fresheners," dryer sheets, cleaning products, and candles.
The good news is that there are some easy ways to help purify the air in your home!
Household plants help to remove formaldehyde and other toxins and purify the air. Plus, they are beautiful to have around. We keep plants in every room in the house. These are my office babies:
Top Plants for Removing Formaldahyde and Other Chemicals and Purifying Indoor Air:
- Areca palm – palms are some of the best plants for cleaning the air
- Lady Palm
- Bamboo palm
- Dwarf date palm
- Rubber plant – great for offices and rooms with low light
- English Ivy
- Ficus alii
- Snake Plant
- Boston fern – these guys remove more formaldehyde than any other plant, though they are a bit finicky to care for (a great plant if you have a green thumb!)
- Peace lily – a great plant for your office as it removes formaldehyde, benzene, and other volatile organic compounds emitted by harsh cleaning products. It even blooms.
Here are 10 ways to remove toxins from indoor air so you can breathe easier!
- Open windows and let in some fresh air even during cold or hot months.
- Purchase good quality air filters for your furnace and change them every 2-3 months.
- Only burn beeswax candles. Regular paraffin candles and scented candles give off toxic fumes.
- Never, ever use “air fresheners” or Lysol sprays which contain toxic chemicals and fragrance. Instead, diffuse essential oils to freshen the air.
- Use organic dry cleaners. Make sure to remove clothes from the bag outside so that less of the dry cleaning chemicals are released indoors.
- Put houseplants in every room, especially the bedroom where you spent the most time.
- Avoid household cleaning products the emit harsh chemicals into the air.
- Avoid using dryer sheets which are full of chemicals and phthalate-containing fragrance.
- Invest in a good vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- If you have a health condition, consider buying a HEPA air purifier.
We’ll talk more about healthier alternatives for laundry and home cleaning in the next article.
I recommend by starting with throwing away things today that you don't even need to replace. Start with throwing away any "air fresheners" which are terrible for you health. Throw away dryer sheets. Throw away regular parrafin candles. Easy peasy. You now have cleaner air.
Next, pick up a lovely houseplant for your bedroom and office. They'll bring the beauty of nature into your life and will be working for you all day long to support your health.
When you are ready, pick 1-2 of the other recommendations above and begin to take action. You'll improve your air quality at home or in your office.
One change at a time, you can do it!