Indoor Air Quality: Facts and Solutions Part I

Despite the amount of time we spend in homes and offices, most of us are not aware of the indoor air pollution in our personal and work environments. In fact, most Americans spend a minimum of 90 percent of their lives indoors. Considering this staggering statistic, it’s a wonder why more people are not at least as concerned about the quality of air inside, as they are about the air outside.
The every day products we purchase and use as consumers in our homes or indoor environments release harmful chemicals into the air we breathe and re-breathe day in and day out. From TVs to shampoos, draperies and air fresheners: all can contribute to toxic environments.

Several studies have linked allergies to indoor chemicals, including asthma, learning disabilities and birth defects. None of these is to be taken lightly, it is still unknown just what products and ingestible goods are harmful over the long term. The most common identified threats to indoor pollution come from solvents in fresh paint, formaldehyde, and chemicals known as phthalates which are most commonly used in soft plastics and synthetic fragrances. Fortunately, these days many of these items can be replaced with non harmful products at relatively competitive prices, well worth the dollar paid.
What to do about it?
Here are a few ideas: Throw out your air fresheners and open your windows. To put it simply, just eliminate the source of a bad smell rather than mask it with synthetic products. Also, not to be overlooked is the ill release of dryer sheets and fabric softeners replace these products with baking soda in your rinse cycle to soften fabrics and reduce static clingers. Further more, another nice tip for scent is to add lemon to your green homemade cleaning solutions for a nice scent and baking soda to your trash can to eat up foul odors.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

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