Here is my indoor air pollution control course reviewed by Ruth Holroyd:
She wrote the post, so all credit goes to her and her Blog: What Allergy
I worry about the air quality in our households. We think about pollution and things like fumes from cars, airborne particles from chemicals, farming or manufacturing processes come to mind. But have you ever considered what the quality of the air is in your own home?
You might be shocked to discover it could be a lot worse than you think, especially during the winter months when we batten down the hatches, close our windows, turn on our heating and stay cosy and warm. Add that to the obsession with ‘smells’ and particularly artificial smells that many plugin air fresheners produce could be building up a toxic pea soup in your bedroom. I was recently sent this self-help guide which explains ‘How to rid your home of indoor pollution’ to review; it’s something those of us with asthma, eczema and allergies should be looking at in our own homes.
I learnt loads and there were quite a few new tips that I’ll be putting into practice in my own home and some useful myths, facts and suggestions to help improve your air quality and allergen load.
Coming from a background of living with both asthma and eczema himself and working in Health and Safety means he understands the science behind everything he explains, researches and suggests. His main thinking behind the book is that all the pollutants inside our homes could be contributing to our skin problems and causing us irritation and allergic reactions. e.g. dust mites, mould and chemicals to name just a few.
It’s all written in a no-nonsense conversational style that makes it easy for anyone to understand and take action from. It’s split into 13 Chapters so I’ll give you a brief rundown of each section.
What is indoor air pollution?
This chapter sets the scene for all the things you’ll be learning about throughout the course. It explains all the different sources of pollution in homes from radon and formaldehyde to pollen and tobacco smoke and everything in between. There are a surprising number of things to consider. And when you consider that we spend 90% of our lives in our homes –it’s potentially a lifesaver! Rules and regulations are governing outdoor air pollution but none for the air quality of our homes. This is quite shocking, but don’t worry, you have total control over your home unless you’re renting… but there is still loads you can do even if your landlord is unhelpful
This is the most important chapter and are probably thinking, like me, that you’re doing what you can. You’re probably wrong but none of the suggestions or solutions in this book will break the bank and many of them could save you money. So stay with me! There are obvious sources and hidden sources and a checklist you can fill in to work out what your plan of action needs to be. It will be different for everyone reading this manual.
This section explains how allergies and hay fever happen then focusing on ways to reduce the pollen in your home. There are loads of things in this chapter, including trying a neti pot, which irrigates your nasal cavity with a sort of tiny watering can… But the most useful, and something I’ve found helps in my home, is getting a HEPA air filter. I have the Dyson Pure Hot and Cool air purifier and think I have fewer sinus problems at night since getting it.
I am a bit of an expert at getting dust out of my home. Or am I? It can worsen rhinitis, asthma and eczema so it’s the number one allergen to tackle for me. But the best thing in this chapter was the research into how to get the most dust out of carpets. I want to replace my carpets but for now, I can’t afford to. So I’m working with what I’ve got. THE best way of getting rid of 98.4% of dust was the steam cleaner. I’ve got one of these that I never use and was going to sell but it is coming out of retirement. The idea being you steam and then hoover as normal after for best results. And you don’t have to steam every time.
I don’t own pets so I didn’t find tips for myself from this chapter but there are loads of tips here. Most importantly, if you pet moults, brush it regularly outside using these incredible brushes; you must have seen adverts for these, they are palm-sized and get so much fur off it’s quite incredible. Also worth noting, your pets can have allergies too, so all the things you do in your home to improve your indoor air quality will be good for them too.
This is the chapter where I fell foul of many misdemeanours. I love candles and I never realised just how many toxic chemical ingredients they have, just burning away into my home! Most candles are made from paraffin and who knows what else. Turn them over and read the label, and that’s probably not all the ingredients, because products not for human consumption don’t require full ingredients labels. So basically you could be burning anything!
I’m not throwing out my candles because I hate waste but they will be replaced with safer beeswax and soya-based candles soon. I am allergic to eating soya so I’m interested in whether burning a soy candle might not be a good idea… I shall investigate and let you know. Might try it and see! This section also has a tutorial so you can make your own safe candles which sounds really good fun.
Now I know I react badly to mould. I lived in a very damp ?at some years ago and my asthma was terrible until I moved out. There was so much in this chapter that I will be trying to implement at home. Really simple things like opening a window while you cook and shower, which I rarely do. Keeping lids on pans while cooking – not only does this reduce moisture in the air, it also helps the food cook quicker. This is just a taster, there were so many tips that I’m not doing but could easily introduce. I don’t have an obvious problem with mould in my flat but everything helps. A dehumidifier would be a fantastic move, especially in winter when we all dry laundry inside.
I’ve been meaning to get one for years so might invest now. The guide has advice on which type of product is best.
Very important! What I hadn’t thought about was how bad some of these could be for me. I have started to use more natural cleaning products and there are some great tips in here to give you ideas for making cleaning solutions, air fresheners and carpet fresheners from natural ingredients. Things like vinegar, baking soda, lemon, castile soap etc. Can’t wait to experiment with the ideas I’ve got from this section.
This section confused me a little. I don’t know if Radon is a problem where I live. I’ve put this to the bottom of my action list but you can get home kits to test for radon, which can be very bad for lung health because it’s leaching into your home from the ground below.
Again, read the ingredients in any shop-bought air freshener and you’ll not be pleased. It’s all chemicals. Throw out your car air fresheners (there are tips for making all-natural really cheap homemade alternatives), and don’t touch the plug-in air fresheners or the sprays like Fabreze. All these do is mask a natural odour with a chemical one. If your house smells, you need to tackle the root cause, not mask with potentially even more harmful chemicals. Even if they say they’re natural, they probably aren’t. He recommends natural essential oil diffusers, something my running friend Jenny suggested to me recently that I’ve been meaning to purchase.
There are also loads of clever natural tips for making your own safe alternatives. e.g. lemon slices in our kitchen bin and empty it before it gets too full and pongy and also simmer pots. Also – don’t diss the potpourri! You can make your own fairly cheaply or buy natural products to bring some lovely natural scents into your own. So many tips in this chapter.. you’ll have to read it to find out more.
Cosmetics and Household products
You know, 50% of outdoor VOC pollution comes from indoor sources! Look for fragrance-free products and think about products like nail polish, hair spray, your perfume, shampoos, makeup… it all adds up. It all gives off smells. The Clean Air act of 1956 (UK) doesn’t even look at indoor pollution, just outdoor, so we have to take our action. Look at what you’re buying and research cleaner, healthier, more natural alternatives.
Again, I learnt so much in this chapter. I didn’t know Ozone generators were but basically, don’t get one! They are not good. HEPA filters are what you need to look for. They are proven to trap 99.97%of indoor particles 0.3 microns in size. this is a lot of allergens! There is also extensive research into the best products on the market and what to look for.
This was one of my favourite chapters, looking at the types of plants that will help to remove harmful VOCs and pollutants from your home. They are like magic! They literally eat air pollution for breakfast! Brilliant. Certain plants work better, including some beautiful looking ferns and The Money Plant, to name just a few. It also teaches you how to make your own indoor safe plant fertiliser from eggshells and coffee grounds.
This course took me ages to digest. It’s brilliant because you could dip in and out and work through different chapters in your own home. you don’t have to do everything suggested or do it all at once but it’s a fantastic self-help guide to ridding your home of indoor air pollution. One parting point to make is that we should all spend more time out in our gardens and the great outdoors. Make time to spend nurturing your garden if you have one. Go for country walks every day, run, just be outside.
The less time we spend indoors the fewer issues we have from the pollutants and allergens that build up in our homes, other people’s homes and our workplaces and public spaces. If you love all the sciency bits, there are pages of the various research papers Donald used in his analysis and work creating this guide for us.
Indoor Air Pollution Control
It’s a great feeling when you get awesome feedback on a piece of work you put so much effort into. That’s exactly what I got from Ruth Holroyd, founder of a highly successful and informative blog, What Allergy. She’s been running it since 2009 and there’s a reason why so many flocks to her posts for allergy, eczema, asthma and anaphylaxis management. Everything from hayfever control tips to eating out at restaurants safely with food allergies. I encourage you to I’ve her blog a browse 🙂
If you’d like to discover the indoor air pollution control techniques, then click here. Indoor air pollution is a large environmental health risk most of us don’t understand. I’ll walk you through all the steps you need to attain excellent air quality for your home. It’s a complete digital course on ClickBank retailing at $39 USD.
Breathe easy folks!