Three years ago, reporters from Good Morning America conducted and reported on an investigation into the threats that indoor air pollution poses on our health. They did this by setting up a nursery with brand new baby furniture including a crib, changing table, rocker and decorations. After letting the room sit for a while, the air quality of the room was tested. The findings? There were 300 different chemicals present in the air as opposed to just 2 in the fresh air outside of the same home that the nursery was set up in.
These chemicals aren’t only found in newborn nurseries, but in the rest of the house as well. For instance, most furniture and rugs contains formaldehyde, a know carcinogen. “Formaldehyde has been identified to cause cancer of the upper airways and leukemia, as well as respiratory illness. Most formaldehyde exposures occur by breathing indoor air contaminated by carpets, countertops, cabinets, couches and other furniture. In fact, formaldehyde off-gassing from building materials and other products can lead to indoor formaldehyde concentrations far exceeding outdoor levels”(Safer Chemicals Healthy Families).
Since we want the bedrooms of the home to be a sanctuary, it makes sense to minimize our exposure to these chemicals, especially since we spend so much time in the bedroom doing one of the most important things that our bodies need to function properly – sleep.
Here are some steps that you can take to reduce your exposure to indoor pollutants in the bedroom.
- If you are in the market for new furniture, make sure that it contains certified “green” or low-emission components.
- Get some plants! Plants help to filter the off-gassing and air pollutants that occur inside a home.
- Open the windows and get some fresh air.
- Get rid of your artificial air fresheners – they should be named air pollutants! Instead, use pure essential oils! (hint: the artificial air fresheners that claim they are made of essential oils are just as harmful to your health as any other artificial scent.)
- Get some air purifiers. These don’t have to be expensive. There are some great electric ones on the market that don’t cost too much.
Make sure that the place you spend over one third of your life (your bedroom) supports healthy living; invest in an all-natural mattress!
Congress Must Provide the EPA with Authority to Regulate Unsafe Chemicals: Formaldehyde. Safer Chemicals Healthy Families. Web. January 4, 2012.
Leamy, Elisabeth. Testing for Chemicals in Indoor Air. Good Morning America. January 19, 2012. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/