One of the best, most effective and cheapest ways to reduce inhalation of these chemicals is to increase ventilation by opening your windows and doors. I have the windows open at all times, even in winter, and the lowest temperature I’ve measured in my bedroom was 6 degrees Celsius, last winter – nice, clean, chilly air. Make sure your place never smells stuffy – you know: the smell you have in your nostrils when you enter a place that hasn’t been ventilated for quite some time and you feel nauseous at the same time. That stuffy, smelly air really does cause sickness in people, who as a result feel depleted of energy and happiness.
Another way to reduce chemical inhalation is to become knowledgeable about, and avoid, the
sources. However, it’s not always possible or cost effective to achieve suitable ventilation, for example during winter if you live in a very cold country. In these circumstances, there’s an inexpensive and beautiful way to reduce the toxic vapour in your indoor environment: house plants! I love them! I’ve always had lots of plants in all the places I’ve Iived in. In any home, you can use house plants to generate warm, healthy, harmonious vibes. They not only look and feel good; they really do a great job of cleaning your polluted house air. Just as forests and jungles improve our planet’s air quality, house plants improve the air quality of our houses. House plants that purify the air are a must in every holistic place.
Some indoor plants do a fantastic job and act as a cleaning army. According to research, some indoor plants do a fantastic job of counteracting all those health hazards by filtering and cleaning the air in your house. Here are the top 13 indoor plants that are most effective in counteracting indoor pollution: Areca Palm; Bamboo Palm; Australian Sword Fern; Boston Fern; Dwarf Date Palm; English Ivy; Ficus Alii; Janet Craig Dracaena; Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa); Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum); Reed Palm; Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica); Weeping Fig; Zamioculcas Zamifolia.
New furniture, a new car and anything new always have that typical smell. The new-car smell might be the most familiar. And that smell’s there for a reason: all that plastic and all the chemicals are used to give off an emanation called ‘off-gassing’, which causes the smell and is very toxic. As we all now, the smell takes weeks and months to disappear. My favourite way to feel safe about furnishings and other new stuff is to obtain used cars and furnishings. Second-hand goods are not only safer and much better for the planet; they’re cheaper. It’s possible to lower the chemical off-gassing of new furnishings by letting them ‘off-gas’ before you bring them indoors. You can let them do this by leaving them in a warm garage or on a porch for at least two months (the longer, the better) before you bring them inside. If you buy a new car, keep the doors and windows open as often as you can, but definitely ensure good air circulation every time you get into the car so you get rid of the stiff, heated, off-gassing air that can cause you sickness, headaches and all kinds of unpleasant ailments. This goes for older, second-hand cars, too. I always buy second hand.
The modern home is a chemical bomb, a gas chamber made of thousands of toxic synthetic
materials that are dangerous to home owners, builders and certainly the environment. Unfortunately nowadays, houses are not made of only wood and brick; they’ve become quite
dangerous: wrapped in plastics; tiles glued down with adhesives; styrofoam painted with toxic
paints; vinyl flooring; plastic carpets; formica benchtops; poly-vinylchloride water pipes;
formaldehyde-soaked insulation; fire-retardant synthetic furniture; plastic bathtubs; enamelled-metal bathtubs – the list goes on; in fact, these days, most of the components of a home are probably extremely toxic. The chemical off-gassing from a new house (don’t you love the fresh smell of a new house or car?) can last for the building’s entire lifetime, which, in the case of most homes built today, is only about 40 to 80 years.
At the end of that time, the house becomes toxic waste, nothing more than a disposal problem for your children. Due to the massive effort of improving energy efficiency, which is actually well intentioned, we’re left with homes that are virtually hermetically sealed whereby no, or very little, air comes in and nothing can get out, so that toxic chemicals are all there for you to breathe in and pollute your lungs and health with. It’s almost like a sniff test: nothing can escape!
That lovely, new-car smell is actually much more toxic than you might imagine. According to a study undertaken by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in 2001, new-car drivers are subject to toxic emissions that are several times higher than the limit deemed safe for humans. Excessive leaching from glues, paints, plastic and vinyl is off-gassing all around the passenger seats, and most people experience headaches, sore throats, nausea, and drowsiness from breathing in their vapours. Prolonged exposure can lead to much more serious heath conditions, so you’d be wise to ventilate your home and car as much as possible.