How to create a lung-friendly home
It is difficult to overstate the importance of lung health. And yet, it is one of the easiest things to overlook. Be it exposure to cigarette smoke, unwittingly inhaling environmental toxins due to urban pollution, or residing in conditions less than conducive for lung health, there are myriad ways to put the lungs at risk. More so when several of those factors are not in individual control.
The World Health Organization estimates that over 91 percent of the world’s population lives in areas where the air quality exceeds the organization’s guidelines, putting them at an increased risk for respiratory diseases.
Alarming as those numbers and prognoses might be, there are some things that we can and should control for the health of the lungs. Why not start with the home? Here are some tips for maintaining healthy air quality in your home.
- Make the house a no-smoking zone; ensure smoke from outside doesn’t inadvertently enter.
- Use air filters and air purifiers. Be sure to check and clean your air filters at least once every three months and your air purifiers every two to four weeks.
- Avoid harsh chemical cleaners or strong sprays, including air fresheners and powders. Common cleaning product chemicals to avoid include bleach and ammonia. Instead, look for white vinegar, baking soda, lemon and lemon juice, borax, salt, isopropyl alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide.
- If you like candles, check what chemicals go into their making. Same with such items as incense sticks and diffusers. Ingredients to avoid include paraffin, synthetic fragrances infused into candles, and wicks with lead. Instead, look for beeswax candles, natural aromas, and essential oils.
- Opt for pollen-free or allergen-free flower arrangements. Some beautiful blooms known to trigger common allergies include ragweed, chrysanthemums, daisies, sunflowers, and chamomile. A few typically considered safe include begonia, cactus, daffodil, geranium, impatiens, iris, lilies, pansy, periwinkle, petunia, rose, tulip, verbena, zinnia.
- Try and keep the house dust-free. You may find that some parts of your home, like the attic, tend to get dustier than others. To protect your lungs, try to address the problem or avoid them as much as possible.
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