Free and Easy Ways to Protect Your Family Today
This modified excerpt of free and easy ways to protect your family is from a Building Biology brochure created in conjunction with Melody Chan Graves.
We go the extra mile to protect the safety and health of those we love. But many of us don’t realize that there is a world of silent killers and disease-causing agents lurking in our homes. Some threats you can’t taste, smell, see, or even feel, but they can have a profound impact on you and your family’s long-term health. The good news is that there are several easy and free things you can do today that will help keep these pollutants at bay:
Free and Easy Ways to Protect Your Family Today
1) Breathe Cleaner Air:
The greatest source of chronic chemical exposure comes from the air inside our homes. These chemicals and irritants are known to cause asthma, allergies, and lung cancer. Simple steps like the following will help improve your indoor air quality:
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. This is especially relevant if you have an attached garage or any combustion appliances (gas stove, dryer, water heater, etc.). Carbon monoxide is a silent and deadly killer.
- Take off your shoes when entering your home. The majority of pesticide residue found in carpets is tracked in by outdoor footwear.
- Open your windows for at least an hour each day to let outside air in and pollutants out.
- Skip the scented dryer sheets and fabric softener, and buy all-natural laundry products, like those from Seventh Generation or Biokleen.Try using baking soda and vinegar to clean your kitchen and bathroom. Find more natural, inexpensive cleaning recipes.,
- Regularly clean the house using wet-wiping techniques and a true-HEPA vacuum, and keep areas subject to condensation (e.g.,windowsills) clean and free of dust in order to control microbial growth.
2) Minimize Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation
Studies have linked radio frequency (cell phone and wireless) exposure to impaired cellular metabolism, DNA damage, infertility, and cancer. Young children are at highest risk for longterm health problems from this pervasive health threat. Switching from wireless to hard-wired devices is the best way to neutralize these exposures in the home but is not always practical. Following these suggestions are easy ways to protect your family from RF exposure:
- Keep a safe distance from cell phones, cordless phones and wireless routers.
- Turn wireless communication devices off, or put them in “airplane mode,” when not in use.
- When you do use your cell phone, go outside (not in your car), keep away from children, and use the speakerphone function or a wired air-tube headset.
- Avoid using microwave ovens, Bluetooth devices, cell phones and cordless phones whenever possible.
3) Reduce Low Frequency (60 Hz) Electric & Magnetic Fields
The human body is a sophisticated electrical machine. Artiﬁcial electric and magnetic ﬁelds interfere with the cellular and metabolic functions of the body. Take breaks from these ﬁelds at night when you’re sleeping so your body can repair and rejuvenate in an environment closer to nature:
- Unplug your bedside lamps at night when not in use.
- Use a battery-operated alarm clock (not your cell phone) or move your electric alarm clock across the room away from your bed.
- Avoid using electric blankets or heating pads and clear away extension cords running under your bed.
- Don’t sleep within 6 feet of an electrical panel or major piece of mechanical equipment (pool pump, HVAC fan, refrigerator motor).
4) Stay Dry Indoors
Indoor moisture and humidity can lead to problems with mold and dust mites. Here are a few simple tips to keep dry:
- Keep your bathroom fan on while showering or bathing and for at least fifteen minutes afterward. And use your range exhaust fan while cooking if it vents to the outdoors.
- Ensure dryer exhaust ducts are sealed properly and run directly outside.
- Squeegee shower walls after bathing to remove the latent moisture.
Leave your bed sheets folded open in the morning for several hours to allow the bedding and mattress to dry out. Periodically send pillows and mattress pad covers through the dry cycle, and vacuum (HEPA) the mattress and bed frame.
Improving your family’s health doesn’t have to be hard, complicated, or expensive. These are free and easy ways to protect your family that you can do today, this very minute, and know that you are making a positive impact on your own health and the health of your children. For more ideas and information on how to protect your family, check out IBE’s free informational classes online.
Who is Healthy Building Science?
Environmental Testing Services at HBS
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