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 Reducing Exposure to Common Chemicals
 
     
 
  • Fresh paint is a significant source of chemicals. Consider selecting water-based, zero-VOC or natural paints.  
  • Donít use moth balls. They contain nearly 100% 1, 4-Dichlorobenzene and naphthalene.
  • Donítí use plug-in type air-fresheners. They emit xylene, toluene and formaldehyde.
  • Use non-toxic cleaning supplies.
  • Avoid new carpet or choose wool carpet that has not been treated with pesticides. At a minimum avoid carpet padding with formaldehyde. Jute is an alternative.
  • Donít use pesticides. First identify if you have a big problem and what the bug is. Then use the appropriate, non-toxic way to prevent it.
  • Read material safety data sheets (MSDS) to find out what the ingredients are in products.
  • Minimize exposure to perchloroethylene from newly dry-cleaned cloths. Air them out before bringing them inside.
  • Do not store chemicals, paint, lawn care products or gas powered tools in attached garages. Air from the garage circulates into the home. Warm air raises sucking air from the garage into the living space. 
  • Air Purifiers can remove chemicals and formaldehyde if equipped with a charcoal filter. Most charcoal filters have a short life time, and must be replaced regularly to be effective. The size or number of filters present in a room must be such that at least one air change per hour occurs. Air purifiers may help but if the source is not addressed the air purifier may not be able to keep up.
  • Control Humidity. Chemicals and formaldehyde outgas more readily with increasing temperature and humidity. Thatís why you smell things more when itís more humid. Generally speaking, levels of chemicals in the air are higher when humidity is high and lower when humidity is low. Dehumidifying during periods of high humidity can be helpful. Air conditioning helps to dehumidify, but it also limits the fresh air coming into the building if the windows are closed unless there is an outdoor air intake.
 
     
 
 
 
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Revised: July 05, 2017.

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