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Blog: On Health. On Writing. On Life. On Everything.

Fresh Air

October 6, 2010

Tags: air, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, building materials, cleaners - household, condensation, detergent, flooding, Fresh Air, glues, humidifier, infections - increased susceptibility to, insulation, laundry softeners, lung afflictions, mold, paints, philodendron, plastics, pollution – indoor, pothos - golden, respiratory diseases, sinusitis, spider plant, wood preservers

If you live in a house that is perfect in terms of insulation and energy efficiency, you are likely living in a house with stale air – or worse: poisoned air.

The old drafty windows allowed air to go in and out freely. Retrofitted with air-tight windows and doors, you keep in the used-up air. People are often not aware that indoor pollution is much worse than outdoor pollution.

Indoor pollution comes from building materials (wood preservers, paints, plastics, glues, etc.) and household cleaners (detergent, laundry softeners) and molds.

The two most important – and easiest – steps are:
• Sleeping with window open so that you don’t re-breathe stale, polluted air all night through.
• Opening your windows at least twice a day for ten minutes each time. Opening the windows wide but only for a short time, is using less energy than keeping a window slanted all the time.

Respiratory diseases – asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, allergies, increased susceptibility for infections, and so on – are furthered by bad air.

If you have mold at your place, the root cause needs to be addressed: moist walls, flooded basements, condensation issues in poorly ventilated spaces. You better ask a specialist. This can come very expensive. But your health doesn’t come cheap either. And once somebody is sensitive to molds, life can get extremely complicated.

The opposite – too dry air – is also inflicting lung ailments. You can put out open dishes with water or hang up moist towels. Both are better than humidifiers that in many instances get grown over with molds and bacteria, adding to the problem instead of solving it.

Green plants help improve indoor air by humidifying and removing pollutants. Philodendron, spider plant and golden pothos are most effective at the task, and they also happen to be unfussy in their needs.

Aromatherapy can improve air quality. Incense actually is detrimental to your health (as nice as it is for your soul), but essential oils, especially eucalyptus, strengthen respiratory passages.

This all will help you indoor air – provided there’s no smoker in the house.
Aspen eyes, by Peggy Peters

Iguazu Falls, by Xin Liu

Alexa Fleckenstein M.D. 2012, by Lolita Parker jr.

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