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Improve Indoor Air Quality

As we all continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re feeling more grateful than ever for the strength of our communities, including brave frontline and health workers providing essential services. We’re also grateful to those families who are nurturing public health by staying safe at home right now. Though it sounds simple, keeping our distance from others is an impactful way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 [1].

More time at home means it’s a good moment to evaluate our household routines. With that in mind, we’ve put together some easy-to-implement suggestions for how to improve your indoor air quality to help minimize your exposure to chemicals and allergens and nurture your family’s health. Supporting one another with helpful, accurate information is a powerful way we can stay connected during this crisis—and unite for the health of this and future generations.

 

 

indoor air quality plants

Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality:

According to the American Lung Association, poor indoor air quality can affect our health in some unpleasant ways [2]. And you might be surprised to learn that chemicals and allergens, such as lead, asbestos, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, pollen, and mold, may be found in carpeting, cleaning supplies, paint, dust, woodstoves, and second-hand smoke.

We’ve gathered some easy tips to help improve your indoor air quality and let you breathe a little easier as you spend more time at home.

  • Embrace plants. NASA research [3] suggests that many common houseplants help fight indoor air pollution. Stocking up on new plants can also be a great way to support local greenhouses, many of which are doing curbside pick-up to promote safe interactions.
  • Make your home a smoke-free zone
  • Keep humidity levels under 50 percent. Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner as needed and run bathroom fans after bathing to help reduce the chance of mold growing.
  • Fix all leaks and drips in your home. Standing water and high humidity encourage the growth of mold and other pollutants.
  • Avoid burning wood because it adds pollution indoors and out.
  • Don't use scented candles or fragrances to cover odors. Instead, embrace gentle, odor-fighting solutions, such as baking soda and lemon.
  • Brush your pets regularly and vacuum the area immediately after. No matter how cute and sweet our pets may be, pet dander can contribute to indoor air pollution [4].
  • When possible, use cleaning products that disclose their ingredients so that you know what you are using around your home. 
  • Open windows and run ceiling fans to increase ventilation to help limit your exposure to harmful pollutants and allergens [4].
  • Regularly clean and (when possible) change air filters on forced-air heating systems
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For a deeper dive into this topic, we invite you to check out The American Lung Association’s healthy suggestions for improving indoor air.

 

As always, we encourage you to follow the CDC guidelines for how to stay protected, as well as how to clean and disinfect homes during this crisis. Let’s continue to stay connected, stay safe—and stay strong. We stand united with you for a healthy today—and a healthier future for the next seven generations.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

[2] https://www.lung.org/clean-air/at-home/indoor-air-pollutants

[3] https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930073077.pdf

[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2019/11/23/how-to-improve-air-quality-in-your-home/#4a0325af6ef5

[4] https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/improving-indoor-air-quality

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