Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


28 Tips to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality, Part 1

Posted by Ivey on March 7th, 2011

Blueair 503 Air PurifierIn observance of National Care About Your Indoor Air Month, I posted a new indoor air quality tip each day during the month of February on Twitter and Facebook. The first 7 are listed below—just in case you missed one. Stay tuned for the next three installments to read all of our better air tips!

  1. Change or clean your air filters regularly. One of the keys to keeping your indoor air quality clean and healthy is to change the air filters in your air purifier, window or portable air conditioner, central air system, and other filter-containing devices according to manufacturer guidelines. This will also protect the life of the appliance. Join our Better Air Program to receive free convenient reminders when it is time to replace your air purifier filters.

 

  • Use “green” cleaning solutions like steam cleaners. Steam cleaners and similar products are great for removing unwanted dirt, debris, bacteria, and viruses from your indoor environment without the use of harsh chemicals. Since steam cleaners just use ordinary water as the cleaning agent, no chemical residues or noxious odors are left behind.

 

 

  • Line dry clothes outside or use a safe dryer setting. Some clothes can’t be safely dried in a clothes dryer, so many people opt to hang them in the bathroom. Hanging clothes in the bathroom can actually foster unhealthy humidity levels and encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Line drying clothes outside or using the dryer when possible will help you maintain healthy air quality in your bathroom and throughout your entire home.

 

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National Care About Your Indoor Air Month

Posted by Ivey on February 4th, 2011

Open Doors Lead to Green SurroundingsAs Americans, we understand that outdoor pollutants not only affect the Earth’s well-being but our personal health as well. That’s why each day many of us recycle, use mass transit, drive hybrid vehicles, and take other green measures to protect the environment. However, most of us consider our homes a haven—never realizing that our indoor air could be even more polluted than the air outside. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air can be two to five times (and sometimes 100 times) more polluted than outdoor air! This is further compounded by the fact that Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors.
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Resolve to Breathe Better Air This Year

Posted by Ivey on December 29th, 2010

New Year's Celebration and a ClockAs the year draws close, most of us are reflecting on the past year and assessing what we would like to change or improve in the upcoming year. Most of the time, these changes focus on ways to be healthier and improve your quality of life, like losing weight, quitting smoking, or going to the gym more often. Instead of making the same resolutions year after year, try something new for 2011—improving the quality of your indoor air!

According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), indoor pollution levels can be two to five times higher than pollution levels outdoors. This increase in indoor pollution levels is even more shocking when you consider that Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time doors. The good thing about indoor air quality is that it is absolutely within your ability to dramatically improve it. Continue reading

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Promotes Safer Cooking Solutions

Posted by Ivey on September 23rd, 2010

Women Use Clean CookstoveAccording to the Global Alliance for Cookstoves, 1.9 million people die each year from exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires—the primary cooking and heating method for almost 3 billion people in developing countries. Additionally, the reliance on fuels from natural resources creates severe personal security risks, especially for women and girls, as they search for wood in refugee camps and conflict zones. The use of cookstoves and indoor fires contributes to multiple chronic illnesses such as:

  • Childhood Pneumonia
  • Emphysema
  • Cataracts
  • Lung Cancer
  • Bronchitis
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Low Birth Weight

Plus, these cookstoves emit a range of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, along with aerosols like black carbon, which contributes to climate change.
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Research Reveals Houseplants Improve Indoor Air Quality

Posted by Ivey on June 10th, 2010

Houseplants Improve Indoor Air QualityHouseplants are a great way to add color and life to a room, but did you know that some houseplants can actually improve your indoor air quality? Research published in 1989 by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA)—now known as PLANET (Professional Landcare Network)—revealed that common household plants can help remove harmful indoor air contaminants including formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
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May Is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and MCS Awareness Month

Posted by Ivey on May 5th, 2010

May Is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and MCS Awareness MonthMay is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, as well as MCS Awareness Month. That means it’s time to test your knowledge of asthma, allergies, and multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS):

  • Did you know that an estimated 60 million people are affected by allergies and asthma? That’s more than Parkinson’s, coronary heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes combined.
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  • Did you know that asthma is one of the most common serious chronic childhood diseases and the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among children under 15?
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Know the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Posted by Ashley on March 18th, 2009

Last Friday (the 13th), one of our employees – with a particularly keen sense of smell – detected a potentially deadly problem with our office’s air quality. Walking back and forth from the warehouse, our warehouse manager, Drew, (and his bloodhound-like olfactory sense) sniffed traces of gas that seemed to be emanating from the Sylvane break room. As an initial step, we confirmed the presence of a dangerous gas using our trusty Safety Siren Pro Series Combination Gas Detector. But when it was clear that the odor was growing stronger, we thought it was best to call in a natural gas expert to diagnose the problem and advise us on how to handle it. A half-hour later, we identified the scary pollutant – carbon monoxide. The culprit? More on that in a minute. Continue reading

Is Your Office Literally Making You Sick?

Posted by John on November 6th, 2008

Forbes reports that your office may be making you sick – literally. From poor indoor air quality to unhealthy lighting, workspace woes can lead to chronic illness, stress, and depression. Continue reading

Air Pollution Slows Brain Development

Posted by John on October 3rd, 2008

In my previous blog post EPA Decides to Let Rocket Fuel Remain in Water, I pointed out that drinking contaminated water can lower your IQ. Now Environmental Health News reports that air pollution can lower your IQ, too.

A collaborative study by China and the U.S. shows that brain development in Chinese children improved after a local coal-fired plant was shut down. Continue reading