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How Fresh Is Your Home?

We want our homes to shine and sparkle and smell fresh all the time. With companies pushing for 99.9% disinfection and homes that constantly smell like flowers, we end up buying a variety of home-cleaning products for every day use, ranging from disinfectants to aerosol room sprays. However, what most of us don’t realise is that we’ve got the very concept of ‘fresh homes’ itself wrong. Fresh homes are actually those that are well ventilated, and let in plenty of fresh air.

The products that we believe will make our homes fresh are actually chemicals that will make the air in our homes toxic.

Household chemicals like floor cleaners, kitchen cleaners, disinfectant sprays, detergents, tile cleansers, toilet stain removers, glass sprays, detergents, washing liquids, bleaching agents, pesticides, fungicides, liquid mosquito repellents and air fresheners contain VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds that spew chemical fumes like acetone, benzene and formaldehyde into the air. VOCs are extremely dangerous as they evaporate into the air as we use them and cause serious respiratory problems like:

  • Recurring allergies
  • Asthma/wheezing
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chemical Pneumonitis
  • Emphysema/ breathlessness
  • Lung damage

How can you prevent VOCs from affecting your family’s health?

  • Using more chemicals won’t assure you more cleanliness. Restrict the number of chemicals and use them judiciously.
  • Always cover your face while handling chemicals like toilet and tank cleaners
  • Use cleaners that are low on chemicals and safe for people with allergies
  • Avoid harsh cleansers and stain removers – especially those that have strong, pungent odour
  • Avoid using chemicals everyday – wet the cleaning cloth with water instead of liquid cleaners
  • Avoid liquid spray cleaners as they dissolve in the air easily
  • If you have a problem with scented cleaners, opt for odour-free versions
  • Avoid using aerosol room sprays as they can cause allergies and asthma
  • Avoid fragrances in automatic diffusers if someone at home is prone to allergies
  • Use natural pest/ mosquito repellents instead of chemical sprays and diffusers
  • Ventilate your home well – always keep windows open while cleaning so that the chemicals fumes don’t linger inside the rooms
  • Use paints that are low on VOCs
  • And most importantly, follow instructions on the back of bottle and use chemicals in limited quantities.

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