How An Eco-Friendly Home Can Boost Your Health

Posted On Wednesday, 26 September 2018
How An Eco-Friendly Home Can Boost Your Health

An estimated 3.8 million people die prematurely each year due to illnesses related to household air pollution. Three billion people cook using open fires or stoves that use fuels like coal and wood to produce heat, which pollute the air. But, many other everyday household items also contribute to poor air quality, such as cleaning products, air fresheners and paints.

All of this is detrimental to one’s health, both short-term and long-term. In fact, environmental factors have been found to have a greater impact on the immune system than a person’s genetics.

Choose eco-friendly products to have a greener home that will benefit both your health and the planet.

Cleaning Products Are as Dangerous as Cigarettes

Household cleaning products have a lot to answer for when it comes to indoor air pollution and health concerns. One study conducted over 20 years found a clear link between the use of cleaning products and the risk of developing lung troubles. Professional cleaners were at the highest risk and their lung damage matched what would be expected in someone smoking 20 cigarettes a day. This is down to the chemicals in cleaning products that contribute to air pollution in the form of ozone and airborne particulates, which can be compared to the same air pollution caused by cars burning gasoline or diesel.

The good news is that eco-friendly cleaning products are becoming more popular, but bacteria can also be killed with steam, lemon, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar; meaning no chemicals are needed at all.

Paints Worsen Asthma & Eczema

Many common paints that are used around the home contain lots of chemicals, including ammonia, formaldehyde and synthetic dyes. There’s a good reason why a well-ventilated room is advised when decorating as paints often lead to headaches and dizziness. They are also commonly linked to similar lung problems as cleaning products and are believed to aggravate asthma and eczema.

The amount of toxins released into the environment from paint manufacturing is the second highest, with vehicle production claiming first place. There are now more companies than ever producing eco-friendly paints that are breathable, manufactured in environmentally-friendly factories and chemical-free. A wider range of colors are being made and they’re similar in price to top-end brands.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Simply put, VOCs are carbon-based chemicals that evaporate easily as room temperature. They are present in many household items, including cleaning products, paints and furnishings. VOCs can be toxic and are classed as a carcinogenic. The acute health problems they are responsible for include breathing difficulties, headaches and nausea. Long-term, chronic conditions include cancer and damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.

Concentrations of VOCs are believed to be 2-5 times higher indoors, and these higher levels can lead to more health problems. Good ventilation in your home can reduce their harmful effects or you can switch to alternative, chemical-free products that contain no VOCs, which won’t contribute to air pollution at all.

Switching to eco-friendly products can improve the air quality of your home, which will in turn improve your immediate and long-term health. It’s easier than ever to shop green as the movement is growing and more businesses are offering the alternatives. Avoiding nasty chemicals will benefit your health and will also be help to protect the environment.

Jess Walter

Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.

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