5 gestures for a house without pollution

5 gestures for a house without pollution


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Outdoor pollution should not forget that of our house. Our tips to limit it and preserve your health.

  • The house, toxic nest? According to the researchers, the air in our habitats is five to ten times more toxic than the one we breathe outdoors! Dangerous substances, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are coming into our homes. Present in furniture, carpets, paints, cleaning products and cosmetics, these volatile or semi-volatile particles, classified as carcinogenic, are deposited in the airways and are not without consequences for health. In the short term, they can cause respiratory problems, allergies and promote, in the long term, chronic diseases or serious diseases (cancer, worsening of cardiovascular diseases). A few simple actions are enough to limit the pollution of our interiors while preserving our health.

1. Air 10 minutes a day

  • Whatever the season, to renew the air in a room, open your windows ten minutes a day! Think also about this gesture after doing the housework or during small crafts: it allows to evacuate solvents and dust that can spread in the habitat. If your home is not equipped with VMC (controlled mechanical ventilation which ensures a permanent circulation of the air), ventilate after having used the bathroom to avoid the condensation on the walls and the proliferation of molds.

2. Take care of your heaters

  • Having your heater checked annually by a professional can save you a lot of trouble. Because obsolescence or lack of maintenance can release dangerous toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide, which is odorless and invisible. Also be sure to regularly clean your ventilation system and air vents, and do not block them, even if it is cold: pollutants will disperse more easily.

3. Sort through your cleaning products

  • Do you swear by the brilliance of the latest sprays and scouring wipes, in no time, bathroom, living room and bedroom? All, however, release toxic compounds and pollute the indoor air. Try the basic products, just as effective and natural. They have proven themselves. Pure black soap degreases, detaches and flushes insects. White vinegar (water + acetic acid) degreases and descales. It can also be used as a fabric softener. As for baking soda, this anti-scale cleans and deodorizes.

4. Stop candles and scented incense

  • Sold as an air freshener, these products remove unpleasant odors but also contribute to indoor pollution by releasing particles, such as VOCs, benzene and formaldehyde, irritating to the respiratory tract. To remove odors, open the windows for a few minutes to renew the air.

5. Furniture, paintings, decor, open your eyes!

  • Wall or floor coatings, paints and varnishes, furniture products are also likely to emit pollutants into the air, as recalled by an ANSES report (National Agency for Sanitary Safety). In question, formaldehyde, a carcinogen classified by the WHO that also causes respiratory problems (asthma, irritation of the mucous membranes). The pollutant is found for example in furniture made of solid wood or chipboard. Favor responsible and eco-labeled purchasing, pending mandatory labeling by 2020.

Isabelle Duranton for Our Time