The US Environmental Protection Agency thinks you should, stating that indoor air pollution is one of the greatest risks to human health. As much as 100 times more polluted than outside air, possible health effects of poor indoor air quality include irritation, allergies, asthma, cancer, as well as reproductive and developmental problems. This has been evident to the myriad of families with children suffering from these serious conditions, but to the families who have not yet seen the danger of poor indoor air quality, the effects may not show up until much later when cancer invades the family. It is important to protect both sick and healthy children in order to prevent health problems later on. But what are we protecting them from?
- Mold and mildew- Can be found in both older homes/buildings as well as new.
- Pesticides and insecticides- Can come from yours or your neighbor’s lawn (or farm), as well as monthly pest maintenance.
- VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)- Chemicals used to manufacture and maintain building materials, interior furnishings, cleaning products, and personal care products. There may be anywhere from 50 up to hundreds of individual VOCs in the indoor air of a building.
- Tobacco smoke
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
The result? Asthma rates among children are reaching alarming numbers. One in 12 children suffers from asthma - 8.7 percent or 6.3 million children in the year 2001 compared to 3.6 percent in 1980. While the specific reasons for this increase are still unknown, exposure to specific allergens, volatile chemicals and strong odors are known to trigger asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Headaches are also common, along with behavior changes, learning disabilities, eye, nose and throat irritations, and rashes. Absentee rates are typically higher in “sick” buildings, such as offices or schools with poor ventilation. Babies in homes with numerous chemicals don’t fare better when air quality is not a priority. Steps to improving indoor air quality is a top priority in families that want the healthiest children, and want to protect them from long-term damage.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home
- Do not install carpet. Carpet must be cleaned every 6 months to keep dust mites and other allergens at bay. Hard floors do not allow these things to hide and can be cleaned much more effectively. (If you do have carpet, you might want to get a No-Chem Tummy Time Mat.)
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter on hard floors.
- Dust frequently, and design your home with as few dust catchers as possible (dust catchers include knick-knacks, heavy drapes, sheers, etc.)
- Use homemade cleaners from soap, baking soda, vinegar, etc. or purchase cleaners from a health food store. Do not purchase “safe” products if you don’t know the ingredients. Some “safe” products are not as safe as they claim.
- Do not use perfume, and use personal care products that have natural ingredients or ingredients that have been proven safe.
- Stop monthly pesticide spraying around your house or in it. Use natural methods when possible. Most houses will remain bug-free even without monthly pest maintenance.
- Use low VOC paints when possible, and be wary of any new items that may release gases into a baby’s air space.
- Do not smoke. Even the smoke on your clothes can set off an asthma attack in sensitive children.
- If you have a basement and live in a humid climate, you MUST keep a de-humidifier in your basement. This helps to keep mold problems at bay.
- Provide fresh air through an open window, or take your children outside when appropriate.
- Do not use plug-in air fresheners or burn paraffin scented candles
- Use an Airwise air purifier in your baby’s room, or where he spends the majority of his day. (Also use for older children with compromised respiratory systems).
Airwise units create inductive warmth, drawing humidity into the purifier. When humidified air enters the target area, a photocatalytic reaction occurs and superoxide ions and hydroxyl radicals are created. As an added benefit, positively charged indoor pollutants are treated by the WisePointe technology which generates active negative ions at an accelerated rate, thereby enhancing the speed at which dust and other airborne particles are dropped out of your breathing space. Airwise technology works “outside of the box” so it is not necessary for polluted air to actually enter the purifier.
Airwise units are small and light, and can be moved from room to room. If you have a particular child you want to protect, you can move one unit from his bedroom to the living room during the day, or even send it to school or day care each day. If you examine the amount you have paid in doctor’s visits and medication, you will probably see that the cost of an Airwise unit is a drop in the bucket compared to possible future costs of healthcare. If you move into a brand new home, it is imperative that your baby sleeps with an Airwise unit in her room, at least for the first year or two. New building products, paint, wall paper, and carpet off-gas chemicals that are dangerous to developing brains.
We all want what’s best for our children, but if we don’t know the dangers to look out for, we are not able to protect them. We hear about safety measures all the time and how to protect our children from kidnapping, fires, car accidents, etc. But what about every breath they take in, day in and day out, that is full of air polluted by chemicals, toxins, and mold? Are we protecting them from the real dangers? Now that you know, please take this information and do what you are able to do to make a difference in your child’s environment. If you don’t, who will?
Author’s Note: Every air purifier comes with its own “mumbo-jumbo” so the above explanation of how the Airwise purifier works may mean very little to you. The proof is in the pudding, right? That’s what I thought, too. Then we were able to test Airwise units on ourselves. We are a family with a history of respiratory disorders. My son had croup as a baby, pneumonia at age 20 months, and allergies and asthma by the time he reached 3 years old. As a child, I got bronchitis at least once a year, was plagued with various ear, nose, and throat problems, and as an adult suffer chemical sensitivities as well as cat, pollen, and dust allergies. An allergic reaction can stick with me for weeks, so it is very important that I avoid them as much as possible. When we were able to put the Airwise purifier to a true test, I was astounded at the results. That is why I feel it is imperative to share this information with other parents. I don’t have to know the science behind it when I can see the proof for myself!