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Indoor Air Pollution: 10 Steps to Healthier Air Quality in the Home

Updated on January 23, 2012
It's Important to Have A Safe Non-Toxic Home
It's Important to Have A Safe Non-Toxic Home

A Doctor Discusses MCS

Can My House Make Me Sick?

Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air quality, even in industrial areas, according to the EPA. We spend about 90% of our time indoors (most of that being at home). The good news is that our immune systems do NOT have to be constantly assailed by our home's toxic environment.


If you suspect that you are suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), you'll find that there is a woeful lack of information about the condition. Some doctors and scientists doubt that it even exists.

Even so, by cutting down on your exposure to possible immune system triggers, there usually will be an improvement to the symptoms. Here's 10 tips to help.

Pure Food
Pure Food
Clean Air
Clean Air
Natural Personal Care
Natural Personal Care
Natural Laundry Products
Natural Laundry Products
Natural Fabrics
Natural Fabrics
Remove Rugs
Remove Rugs
Attractive Dust Attracters
Attractive Dust Attracters
NON-VOC Finishes
NON-VOC Finishes
Natural Pet Products
Natural Pet Products
Non-Toxic Lawncare
Non-Toxic Lawncare

10 Ways to Detoxify Your Personal Enviornment

  1. Purchase non-processed food (organic if possible) and prepare it in cookware that doesn't have a non-stick coating. These coatings may contain harmful Perfluorinates or PFCs. Get rid of plasticware which may emit harmful pthalates, (a chemical used as a flexibility agent).
  2. Purchase properly sized air purifiers for the rooms you use the most. No type of purifier will remove all possible pollutants so you need to target the type of purifier to control your type(s) of trigger irritant. Houseplants -- NASA Studies prove that plants, especially philodendron, spider plant and the golden pothos, do help to reduce indoor air pollution.
  3. Start using all natural and organic personal care items. Commercial cosmetics, soaps and shampoos all contain many chemical preservatives, scents and emollients.
  4. Make the switch from name brand detergents and cleaners to all natural products. Read the label because some products labeled "natural" really aren't. You may want to search online for formulae to make your own enviro-friendly cleaners.
  5. Phase out your polyester. Your skin is in contact with either your clothing or your bedding nearly all of the time. Choose natural organic fibers for your bedding and clothing whenever possible.
  6. Strongly consider getting rid of your carpets and rugs, because they can attract dust, irritants and mites. Choose a natural floor covering such as natural linoleum (not vinyl flooring). It is expensive but outlasts vinyl sheet flooring, and, it comes in attractive, modern patterns. Naturally finished wood or slate are other good choices. Avoid using particle board in any floor renovation.
  7. Replace window curtains and drapes with wood shutters or blinds, which are easier to keep dust free. Another option for some rooms may be to leave the window uncovered completely.
  8. When renovating, be aware that gypsum board can offgas formaldehyde for years after installation. All gyp board manufacturers use it in their adhesive. A better choice is natural clay plaster which can be tinted any color, however, you'll probably need a professional plasterer to apply it. Similarly, commercial paint is a chemical soup, including VOC's (volatile organic compounds) and should be replaced with a natural wall finish product. Milk or clay based paints are harmless, as are natural wall coverings such as jute, linen or raffia.
  9. Use natural products for pets, for their health and for yours also. Commercial flea killers, soaps and pet food can all could contain triggers for your chemical sensitivity. Consider researching how to make your own pet food to save money and to avoid the harmful ingredients in commercial pet food. If pet dander is a problem, then vacuum fido. Honestly, most dogs and cats love being vacuumed once they get used to it.
  10. Detoxify your lawn and garden by getting rid of all but natural insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Commercial chemicals used outside will ride into your home -- on your clothing, on the air currents or even on your pets. These chemicals aren't safe for anyone, let alone a person who has chemical sensitivity issues.

Make Your Enviornment Human-Friendly

Using natural products can enable you and your family to substantially increase your quality of life. You'll also support the entrepreneurs who provide us with a choice of greener products. At the same time, you'll enjoy the unique and beautiful finishes created by nature, instead of a chemical laboratory.


Submit a Comment

  • Hugh Williamson profile imageAUTHOR

    Hugh Williamson 

    6 years ago from Northeast USA

    Thanks for your comment. I'm surprised there are not more people aware of the problem which is so fixable.

  • Hugh Williamson profile imageAUTHOR

    Hugh Williamson 

    6 years ago from Northeast USA

    I don't think that this gets the amount of attention that it should get.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • billips profile image


    6 years ago from Central Texas

    Excellent article - you put a lot of work into this one - we are all too aware of outdoor pollutants but you have made us aware of the more insidious ones - B.


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