Air Purifying Methods
You need to have good indoor air quality. Think about it, where do you spend the most of your time? Would you say it was indoors or outdoors? I bet you would say indoors. If you aren’t at home, you are probably either at work, or at a store. If you have children they are either at home or at school. Children aren’t playing outdoors as much as they used to. It is important then to have good air quality – indoors. “But, I can’t afford an expensive air filter for home and work,” you may say. Well, there are several ways you can improve the air around you. There are natural methods as well as electronic methods. We’ve had a lot of summer fires. This leads to bad air indexes. It is more important than ever to purify the air in your home.
Are you interested in some natural and inexpensive ways to do purify your air? Look no further than mother nature. The good ‘ole house plant is a cost effective way to clean your indoor air. Another natural method you can use is essential oils. These two alternative methods have been around a long time. Technology is quickly changing as well. There are air purifiers on the market that use new methods. There is now a molecular air purifier as an option as well to add to your air purifying arsenal.
What’s In My Air?
First, let’s take a look at what is in the air around you. You may be surprised to find there are many chemicals. With homes and building being insulated so well, there is little free air exchange. Toxins can build up as a result. Foam that is used in furniture gives off gases, for example. Here are five of the more common chemicals:
Ammonia is found in window cleaners, floor waxes, smelling salts and fertilizers. On pubchem.com the have it listed under the food additive classes as a flavoring agent! The chemco.com site states that ammonium-chloride is used as a flavoring agent in licorice. It is also used in rice cultivation. It is also used as a yeast additive in bread. Feed supplements for cattle contain it. Shampoo, hair color, body wash, facial cleansers, conditions, hand dish washing detergents and more contain it.
Benzene is found in tobacco smoke, vehicle exhaust, glue, paint, and furniture wax. It is also used to make plastics, resins, dyes, and detergents. It has been used as a pesticide. Benzene is used as a constituent in motor fuels; as a solvent for fats, waxes, resins, oils, inks, paints, plastics, and rubber; in the extraction of oils from seeds and nuts. It is also used as a chemical intermediate. Benzene is also used in the manufacture of detergents, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and dye stuffs.
Formaldehyde is found in paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, paper towels, table napkins, particle boards, plywood paneling, and synthetic fabrics. It is used as a disinfectant also. Formaldehyde can be found in smoke from fires, cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust. It is even listed as being in cosmetics.
Trichloroethylene is found in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives, and paint removers. Trichloroethylene is used in consumer products such as typewriter correction fluids, paint removers/strippers, adhesives, spot removers, and rug-cleaning fluids.
What are their effects?
Exposure to these chemicals and their adverse effects depends on many factors. This includes, duration of exposure, the amount of the chemical you are exposed to, and how you were exposed for instance.
Exposure to Ammonia can cause symptoms that include eye irritation, coughing, sore throat, and sinusitis.
Symptoms of exposure to Benzene include eye irritation, drowsiness, dizziness, increase in heart rate, headaches, and confusion. In some cases it can result in unconsciousness. It causes central nervous system damage and bone marrow damage. It is know known to be carcinogenic.
Formaldehyde exposure hazards include irritation to nose, mouth and throat. In severe cases it can create swelling of the larynx and lungs. It is a Standardized Chemical Allergen. As such, it increases histamine release and cell-mediated immunity. It is suspected of causing genetic defects and cancer.
Symptoms of exposure to Trichloroethylene can include excitement, dizziness, headache, sore throat, nausea and vomiting. This can be followed by drowsiness and coma. The EPA lists is as carcinogenic to humans.
Exposure to Xylene can include irritation to mouth and throat, dizziness, headache, confusion, heart problems, liver and kidney damage and coma.
Mother Nature To The Rescue
Luckily for us, mother nature has air-filtering plants. There are quite a few that can help! NASA published a research report called “Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement” in the 80’s. They had many plants they recommended after doing their research. Here is the list of air-filtering plants as provided by NASA and reported on openculture.com:
Dwarf Date Palm, Boston Fern, Kimberley Queen Fern, Spider Plant, Chinese Evergreen, Bamboo Palm, Weeping Fig, Devil’s Ivy, Flamingo Lily, Lilyturn, Broadleaf Lady Palm, Barberton Daisy, Cornstalk Dracaena, English Ivy, Variegated Snake Plant, Red-Edged Dracaena, Peace Lily, and the Florist’s Chrysanthemum. As you can see, there are quite a few to choose from. Just make sure that they are not harmful to your pets.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has a great list. You can use this list to make sure that the plant you choose isn’t toxic to your animal. They also have a poison control center phone number: (888)426-4435. You can search by scientific name, print a list of plants that are toxic or not, and choose plants specific to dogs, cats, or horses. For example, the Weeping Fix is toxic to dogs, cats and horses.
Essential Oils To Purify The Air
Another option is essential oils. Instead of using a chemically based air freshener, opt instead for an essential oil diffuser. Some oils you that help include eucalyptus, tea tree and rosemary. Eucalyptus sterilizes the air with a fresh, crisp clean scent. It is frequently used in spa steam rooms as well.
Aura Cacia put together the list on the left as found on Cayenneroom.com. They have two recipes you can create and use in your home. They have the Purifying Eucalyptus Diffusion, and the Balsam Fir Needle Purifying Room Spray. You can use a spritzer bottle if you don’t have a diffuser.
Along the same line, instead of using candles, or wax bars that melt to purify the air, opt instead for beeswax candles. Burning pure beeswax candles creates negative ions which helps clean the indoor air.
Other Easy Steps
Other steps you can take include removing your shoes at the door and using a door mat. This will help stop the chemicals on your shoes being tracked through your home. Another easy way is to open your windows. May sound simple, but how many of us do it? Open them in the morning while you are getting ready for work and listen to the birds. Just 5 minutes a day can help. Even better, you can run your ceiling fan to help the air exchange occur faster.
If you are still thinking you need an electronic air purifier, check out the Molekule. It is a molecular air purifier. According to their website, it “breaks down harmful microscopic pollutants like allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses, VOCs, and even airborne chemicals.” They claim that instead of the typical air purifiers which trap pollutants, their purifier actually “eradicates” them. That includes pollutants, “1000x times smaller than what the HEPA can collect.”
“Molekule comes with two filters: a pre-filter and a nano-filter. The pre-filter captures larger particles such as dust and pet hair, while the nano filter breaks down the pollutants.” They provide their filters on a subscription basis for a fixed fee of $99 per year. They say they average one nano-filter a year and a pre-filter once every three months. Of course this is individualized to each household. This is done automatically through the cloud. It monitors the filters and will automatically send them to your door. No need to check if it is time. No need to worry about forgetting to change it either.
This molecular marvel will cost you $799 however. Currently, they are running a free 1st year filter subscription and are offering payment plans of 3, 6, or 12 months to help ease the sticker price.
Any way you look at it, either watching the dust molecules flying around with your own eyes, or looking under a microscope, the air surrounding you isn’t empty. It touches your skin (your body’s largest organ) and enters your body when you breathe. I think you’ll agree that it is highly important to purify it – one way or another.
As always, we welcome any additional information or comments you may have.
1920 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite A
Kennewick, WA 99336
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