The not so dirty Dozen!
What can you do to protect your family against illness? Quite a lot, as it turns out—especially if you live in a tightly sealed, energy-efficient home, in which airborne toxins can accumulate over a short time.
- Have a fresh air exchange unit connected to your furnace, or whenever you can, open the windows to let fresh air in.
- Change or clean your air filter regularly.
- Groom your pets and give them regular baths. Clean litter boxes regularly and keep them away from vents.
- Turn on your furnace system blower fan to circulate polluted air through your furnace filter when you vacuum and dust.
- Verify that all exhaust fans are operational and properly ducted to the outdoors rather than to an attic or crawlspace.
- Make use of ventilation fans that are installed in your kitchen and bathrooms. Clean any grease filters regularly.
- Most people don’t vacuum one spot long enough. Use a modern vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter. Also be sure you’re getting all the particles up off the floor. It takes seven or eight passes over the same area to effectively remove all the dirt and dust trapped in your carpet.
- Take out the trash more often and reduce clutter by removing any unused items that could become a nest or source for bacteria growth.
- Consider making yours a No Shoes Allowed Home. Add door mats to both the outside and inside of your home. This decreases the likelihood that your family will track allergens inside on the bottoms of their shoes.
- Wash bed linens in hot water once a week. Washing laundry in hot water (at least 140 degrees f) kills 100% of dust mites and their eggs. Washing the same items in warm water…kills only 8% of dust mites!
- Trap allergens by installing a quality high efficiency air filter on your heating and air conditioning system. Whole home solutions (central air cleaners) are more effective than in-room styles. Be aware of the added restriction to your heating system. High static pressure in the ductwork can cause the blower fan motor to overheat. Click Here for more details on filtration.
300 million candles are sold in North America each year. It is estimated that at least 3 million of those can have wicks that contain lead. Depending on the amount of candle burning activity, the number burning simultaneously, and indoor room conditions, lead concentrations in excess of occupational and environmental standards could occur.
While the primary danger is from inhalation, the deposition of lead-bearing fine particulate in household dust provides a secondary exposure route for babies and toddlers due to their ubiquitous hand-to-mouth behavior.
It was found that individual candles emitted lead to the air at average rates that ranged from 100 to 1700 µg/hr. deposition. This can easily raise the source room concentration above the ambient air lead concentration limit of 1.5 µg/m3 set by EPA. Burning multiple candles can elevate it above OSHA permissible exposure limits of 50 µg/m3.