使用帶有HEPA過濾器嘅吸塵器。強大嘅吸塵器同旋轉刷，可以減少塵蟎、花粉同寵物皮屑 – 並確保唔會通過廢氣釋放。你還可以減少其他毒素，例如溴化阻燃劑（PBDEs）。要特別注意人流量大嘅區域，包括牆壁、家具同室內裝飾。為咗得到最佳效果，每星期吸塵兩次並定期清潔或更換過濾器。用地拖把執起吸塵留低嘅灰塵。喺一桶暖水入面加入少量濃縮嘅植物清潔劑，用佢再擦下面，將清除掉真空中殘留嘅東西。化學物質會黏上你同你嘅寵物同客人。通過喺每個門上放置大嘅門墊，即使你（或寵物）冇刻意擦腳，你都可以減少進入房屋嘅灰塵同其他污染物。更好嘅係，請客人進入室內時除鞋。將拖鞋放喺門附近係個好主意 – 返屋企時就即刻著上去。對於疲倦嘅雙腳係值得開心嘅事。 令你嘅屋企成為無煙區 香煙中包含4000多種化學物質，呢個係造成室內空氣污染嘅重大原因。研究表明，二手煙會增加兒童發展呼吸道同耳朵感染、哮喘、癌症同嬰兒猝死綜合症（SIDS）嘅風險。請確保唔要喺屋內吸煙。如果你唔選擇戒煙，為咗你嘅家人，請嘗試只喺室外吸煙。
儘管香港空氣潮濕，但如果可以嘅話，請令你嘅屋企保持乾燥。通過使用抽濕器機同冷氣，保持30％-50％嘅濕度有助於控制塵蟎同黴菌。冷氣仲可以減少室內花粉嘅數量，呢個對季節性花粉症患者有好處。 幸運嘅係，有好多簡單嘅方法可以減少屋企裡嘅水分。喺煮飯，沖涼或操作洗碗機時打開窗或者使用抽氣機。修復洩漏嘅水喉，以防止發霉。 如果可以，請定時清空抽濕機嘅滴水盤。唔好淋太多水落盆栽植物到 – 除咗可能殺死佢哋之外，仲會向空氣中引入更多嘅水分。 令你嘅屋企變溫室: 好似空氣淨化器一樣，室內植物嘅根同葉都被證明可以進行光合作用同吸收化學污染物。除此之外，悉尼科技大學發現室內植物可以顯著改善情緒，並減少焦慮、疲勞、憤怒同沮喪。 回想一下科學課，喺光合作用期間，植物吸收二氧化碳並釋放氧氣。某啲植物 – 包括多肉植物、蘭花、鳳梨科同蛇類植物 – 相反地會喺夜間釋放氧氣，佢哋就成為你睡房嘅最佳伴侶。植物仲會釋放出植物化學物質，為引起過敏嘅黴菌同細菌創造咗不利嘅生長環境。
好多合成香料係從石油中提取嘅，並向空氣中散發出潛喺嘅有害化學物質。呢啲包括傳統嘅洗衣液、衣物柔順劑同空氣清新劑 – 標籤上唔一定會列出各種香精成分。我哋可以測試香水對皮膚嘅刺激性，但係唔能夠測試到喺吸入後對健康嘅影響。香料中常用嘅化學物質，例如鄰苯二甲酸二乙酯，苯同醛，都係已知嘅致癌物。例如，已證明鄰苯二甲酸鹽會破壞動物體內嘅激素。好消息係，你可以輕鬆地避免使用呢啲化學物質。
We tend to think that air pollution is something that happens outside, with smog and haze from vehicles, factories and fires. But the air inside our homes can actually be worse for our health, thanks to formaldehyde, fire-retardants, and the volatile chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaning products. Some pollutants sneak in on a new mattress, with a fresh coat of paint or in our carpet.
Indoor air pollution is associated with asthma, chemical hypersensitivity, and even cancer. Chemical concentrations of many pollutants can be far greater than outdoor levels. This is increasingly an issue because newer buildings are more airtight, so airborne irritants can’t escape. On the whole, we’re also spending more time indoors.
There are a range of causes for indoor air pollution. Many new items off-gas chemicals, especially when they’re new. You’ll also find dust mites, mould and pet dander in the mix. Kids, those with asthma and eczema, and elderly or immune-compromised people are often the most sensitive to indoor pollutants, but the rest of us may not know we’re being affected until years later.
With all this in mind, we’ve compiled six simple ways you can clear the air in your home.
GIVE YOUR FLOORS A CLEAN SWEEP
Using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, powerful suction and rotating brushes, reduces dust mites, pollens and pet dander – and ensures these aren’t released via the exhaust. You can also minimise other toxins, like brominated fire-retardant chemicals (PBDEs).
Pay particular attention to high traffic areas, and include walls, under furniture and upholstery. For best results, vacuum twice a week and clean or replace your filter regularly. Mopping picks up the dust that vacuuming leaves behind. Mopping with a dash of concentrated, plant-based cleaner in a bucket of warm water will pick up what the vacuum leaves behind.
You, your pets and your guests track in chemicals. By putting a large enough doormat at each door, you’re reducing the dirt, pesticides, and other pollutants that enter your home, even if people (and pets) don’t deliberately wipe their feet. Even better, ask guests to take off their shoes when they come inside. And it’s a good idea to keep slippers and comfy socks near the door – to slip into when you get home. It’s a welcome break for weary feet too.
MAKE YOUR HOME A SMOKEFREE ZONE
Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals – a huge contributor to indoor air pollution. Research shows that secondhand smoke can increase a child’s risk of developing respiratory and ear and infections, asthma, cancer, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). If you’re trying to quit, Quitline has heaps of resources and support available to help you. But if you relapse, make sure you don’t smoke inside the house. If you just can’t quit, for the sake of your loved ones, try to only smoke outside.
KEEP THE HUMIDITY HEALTHY
While Hong Kong is damp and humid, it’s worthwhile keeping your home dry if you can. Maintaining 30%-50% humidity by using a humidifier and/or air conditioner (most modern heat pumps have this functionality) helps control dust mites and mould. An air conditioner also reduces your indoor pollen count, a bonus for seasonal hayfever sufferers.
Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to reduce moisture in your home. Vent your clothes dryer outside, and open a window or use an extractor when cooking, showering or running the dishwasher. Fix leaks and dripping pipes to prevent mould.
Empty your heat pump and dehumidifier drip pans, if you can. Don’t overwater your indoor pot plants – apart from potentially killing them, it’ll also introduce more moisture into the air.
MAKE YOUR HOUSE A GREENHOUSE
Like living air purifiers, the roots and foliage of indoor plants have been shown to work in tandem to absorb chemical pollutants. But that’s not all. The University of Technology in Sydney, found that indoor plants significantly improve mood, and reduce anxiety, fatigue, anger and depression.
Think back to science class. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Some plants – including succulents, certain orchids, bromeliads and snake plants – release oxygen at night. This makes them excellent companions for your bedroom. Plants also emit phytochemicals, which create an unfriendly environment for allergy-causing mould and bacteria.
- Sansevieria trifasciata (aka snake plant, or mother in law’s tongue) and Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ suck nasties like trichloroethylene and formaldehyde out of the air.
- Aloe Vera releases oxygen and removes carbon dioxide at night, making it ideal for bedrooms and other low-light rooms.
- Dragon Tree sucks xylene, trichloroethylene and toluene (a solvent added to petrol and nail polish remove) out of the air.
- Ficus ‘Amstel King’ is a good all-round air purifier.
- Gerbera adds a splash of color to the room and removes a variety of chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
- Peace Lily cleverly removes a range of alcohols and chemical vapours, including acetone, benzene, ammonia, formaldehyde and xylene, as well as being really effective for removing several toxins.
- Spider Plant removes 96% of the carbon monoxide and 99% of the nitrogen dioxide within a sealed chamber, according to NASA research.
Tip: If you have pets or young kids, make sure your pot plants aren’t poisonous if eaten.
REDUCE YOUR RELIANCE ON FRAGRANCE
You may connect that strong pine smell with a clean home. But many synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum and emit potentially nasty chemicals into the air. These include conventional detergents, fabric softeners, and air fresheners – and individual fragrance components don’t have to be listed on the label. Fragrances may be tested for skin irritation, but not for adverse health effects when inhaled.
Chemicals commonly used in fragrances, like diethyl phthalate, benzene and aldehydes, are also known carcinogens. For example, phthalates have been shown to disrupt hormones in animals.
The good news is that these nasty chemicals can be easily avoided in your home.
- Look for brands that list fragrance components.
- Look for fragrance free options (for allergy sufferers), or natural fragrances derived from essential oils .
- Use less cleaning product, and replace it with a little more elbow grease.
- Avoid aerosol formats: this includes hairspray, fly spray, deodorant, air fresheners, carpet cleaners and furniture polish.
- Open windows, to prevent toxic chemicals building up inside. If someone in your household has a pollen allergy, use a filtered air conditioning system.
GO MINIMAL AND AU NATUREL
Fragrance can be a trigger for sensitive people with allergies, causing reactions like dizziness, headaches and nausea. While it’s now widely mandatory to declare potential allergens in cosmetics, only some brands (including ecostore) disclose all the ingredients in their cleaning products.
We use essential oils and fractions extracted from plants like citrus, eucalyptus, lavender and patchouli in most of our products – which are safer, more sustainable alternatives to synthetic fragrances from petrochemicals. But these may still cause a reaction for some sensitive people. So we disclose any potential allergens in our products on the label, and suggest that if anything you use around the home is causing a reaction, that you stop using it.
If someone in your home is sensitive even to naturally derived fragrances, consider switching to fragrance free products for your cleaning and personal care.