Home renovation projects are done for several different reasons, whether to update styles, repair damaged or broken items or to achieve more living space. More than ever before, homeowners are choosing improvement projects geared toward making their homes healthier.
The World Health Organizations says inadequate housing conditions, such as poor ventilation, radon, urban pollution, and moisture issues, can contribute to many preventable diseases and injuries, especially respiratory problems, nervous system disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Furthermore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air quality as a top five environmental risk to public health. EPA studies have found that indoor air pollution levels were roughly two to five times greater than outdoor pollution levels.
People interested in making their homes healthier can embrace these renovations and lifestyle changes.
Be aware of furniture materials
Toxic PBDEs, which are chemicals used as flame retardants on furniture fabrics produced prior to 2006, can send toxins into the air. Some manufacturers may still use these flame retardants in new forms, but with similar risks. Before purchasing furniture, ask if a product is treated, and select naturally fire-resistant materials like wool and cotton.
Lighting is often underappreciated but can have a dramatic impact on whether a home feels inviting, warm and/or uplifting. Experiment with different types of bulbs and lighting fixtures to turn drab and dreary environments into brighter places. Lighting may improve mood and productivity.
Let the sun shine in
Modify window treatments to let more sunlight into the house. There is evidence that the sun, particularly UV light, is a potent killer of bacteria. The Sunlight Institute advises that there’s no harm in letting natural sunlight do its work, as bacteria within eight feet of low-intensity UV light can be killed in just 10 minutes.
Inspect and service wood-burning appliances
A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology has found regular inhalation of wood smoke limits immune activity and function. Therefore anyone who burns wood indoors should be aware of these potential health risks. Ensuring proper ventilation of smoke and routinely cleaning the chimney can help cut down on particulate matter.
Turn to nontoxic cleaning products, pesticides and insecticides, and always opt for nontoxic, natural products when cleaning in and around the house.
Source: Akron Beacon-Journal