A lot of people are worried about volatile organic compounds, better known as VOCs. These compounds can cause health issues like allergies and asthma—some have even been linked to cancer. Yet because you often can’t see or smell them, it’s difficult to know when your air has been compromised. Especially now that most new homes are built airtight for energy efficiency, VOCs are often trapped inside. Learn how to identify and avoid VOCs found in most American homes.
I’ve long been a fan of open windows. Every morning–rain or shine–I walk around the house sliding open our windows to let the fresh air circulate inside. And although this may seem counterintuitive to those like me who live in car-clogged cities, a new report supports the practice. Because keeping the air inside might just cause asthma.
There’s nothing quite like the warm smell of fresh laundry. I grew up with that scent, and was taught early on that when doing a load you put the soap in the washer and the dryer sheet in the dryer—I simply couldn’t think about doing one without the other. But because of allergies and asthma in my household, I stopped using dryer sheets about a decade ago. And you know what? My clothes are just as soft. Now new research shows my laundry is safer, too, because of dryer sheet air pollution.
So this is scary. The American Lung Association just released their annual State of the Air Report, and—duh—climate change has everything to do with it. Prescott, AZ is one of the best clean air cities in the country. What are the worst? Read on!
The EPA estimates that the air inside our homes can be as more polluted than the air outside, and some of that pollution comes from our cleaning products. In fact, in their Guide to Healthy Cleaning database, the Environmental Working Group* found that a full half of the cleaning products on the market contain ingredients known to harm our lungs. So what’s exactly in these products—and what can we do to make them safer?