The air in our homes will contain a lot of chemicals from many sources, including cleaning supplies, plastic furniture and flooring materials. It is a good idea to reduce or minimize the extent of these chemical pollutants.
Some flooring materials, especially new carpet, will release formaldehyde into the air. This is possibly the most common home pollutant, and it is known to cause health and cognitive problems in high concentrations, and aggravate allergies even in low concentrations. It is best to reduce this chemical pollutant as much as possible.
Reduce air pollutants by;
- Airing out all rooms when the home is new. Open windows and doors and use fans to circulate air.
- Air out any rooms after any renovations. This included paintwork and new carpeting. The smell of new carpet is actually formaldehyde.
- If you do have new carpet cover their surface with bi carb of soda for a few days, and then vacuum.
- Use an air filter a few times per week.
- Have indoor plants, these help clean the air. They work all day and night and require very little maintenance.
- Stick to safe eco-friendly cleaners when possible. Never mix chemical cleaners because the results are unpredictable.
- Store any chemicals in an outdoor, ventilated area.
- Use cookware at a moderate temperature. High temperatures will break down some non-stick surfaces like Teflon and produce toxic fumes. These fumes are especially bad for household birds and other pets.
- Install exhaust fans above stoves, and use good extraction methods for fireplaces.
Bamboo is manufactured with some chemicals like formaldehyde, but it is largely free from this chemical once installed.
Bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly flooring options, and once it is installed fairly safe for the indoor air.
Laminate uses some chemicals in the form of glue to bind the different layers of timber together, and in any protective coatings. But by the time laminate is installed it produces virtually no chemical residue.
Solid timber flooring is very low allergenic and undergoes very little chemical processing. The only source of chemicals on hardwood timber is in any stains, finishes and clear finishes applied to the wood, but even these emit negligible chemical vapour once they have dried.