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5 Things to Know: Healthy Homes - Healthy Air

Home1. Unhealthy air can come from the materials used to build your home. Some types of wood furniture frames, plywood subflooring, and medium-density fiberboard cabinetry contain urea formaldehyde (UF), which releases volatile organic compounds (VOC). Look for products that are solid-wood or are UF-free. Release of VOCs decreases over time, but provide plenty of ventilation if you have new products containing urea formaldehyde in your home.

2. If new carpeting is installed, make sure to air the room out thoroughly for 48 to 72 hours following installation to allow VOC emissions to dissipate.

3. Landscape with native vegetation to reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers, both of which are easily tracked into the home. If you do use landscaping chemicals, be sure to remove your shoes before stepping inside the house. To be extra safe, shower immediately after applying pesticides, and wash the clothes you were wearing separately from other laundry.

4. Combat dry winter air with a whole house humidifier (about $400). Attached to your heating and cooling system, these units reduce light-switch induced shocks, dry coughs, sinus problems, and dry skin (which flakes off and creates food for dust mites).

5. When painting or sealing, choose products that include limited VOCs or none at all. Low-toxic, water-base adhesives and caulks are the best choices because they emit fewer fumes and quickly stop releasing chemicals. Check labels to learn whether a paint is low-toxic or low-odor.

Retrived from the World Wild Web on March 4th, 2008 :

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