health brief

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Tips for Controlling Our Indoor Environment

Improving Indoor Air Quality -

We contribute to outdoor air pollution in hundreds of subtle ways. While ultimately outdoor air pollution must be reduced as a matter of public policy, individuals still make a difference. Limiting the use of chemicals and making energy-efficient choices will reduce your personal contribution. We each have so much control over our indoor environment, that’s where we can improve air quality the most.

Don’t allow smoking in your home. This alone will greatly improve the air you breathe day today.

Change the filter on your furnace or air conditioner every three months. Using a high-efficiency filter further reduces pollutants by a third.

Particleboard and other pressed woods often contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that can get released into the air. Considering replacing furniture made of these materials.

Keep your home dry and repair all leaks. Mold thrives in wet environments.

If you have carpeting, vacuum regularly. Carpets collect dust and dander.

Keeping your home clean and tidy reduces indoor air pollution. However, limit your use of chemical household cleaners and air fresheners, which may improve the way the air smells superficially, but reduce its actual quality.

Increase ventilation by opening a few windows every day for five to ten minutes, preferably on opposite sides of the house. (Remember, although outdoor air quality may be poor, stale indoor air is typically even worse by a wide margin.)

NASA research has shown that living green and flowering plants can remove several toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air.

Air purifiers can get rid of toxins and chemicals in the air, as well as allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. Purifiers with HEPA filters are often affordable and effective.

Contributed by Irene's Myomassology Institute, Southfield, MI. For more information, visit

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