Air purifier on floor by purple wall

HOW TO:
REDUCE INDOOR AIR POLLUTION

Learn about indoor air pollution, why indoor air quality is important, and find actionable indoor air pollution reduction tips to reduce your eco and carbon footprints.

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What is Indoor Air Pollution?

Indoor air pollution refers to the air quality within all of our buildings, controlling the indoor pollutants, and the health impacts to building occupants from indoor pollutants.  It can also encompass the level of individual control occupants have on their indoor environment. 

Indoor air pollutants can include carbon monoxide and particulates from food preparation, tobacco smoke, pesticides, lead, asbestos, pet dander, mold, ozone from cleaners, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced from indoor-use products and building materials.

In sustainability, indoor air pollution is to be eliminated so there are no instances of sick building syndrome, from headaches to heart disease. In this initiative, I will focus mostly on pollutants produced by ozone and VOCs from cleaning products, other indoor-use products, and building materials.

However, all residential and commercial buildings should try to eliminate all types of indoor air pollution through any means necessary for the best indoor air quality.

Why is Indoor Air Quality Important?

According to the EPA, humans spend 90% of their time indoors. Studies have found that over 2 million deaths occur each year due to indoor pollutants.  Additionally, there are many less severe medical conditions that are produced from poor indoor air quality.

When indoor spaces are not properly ventilated, or toxic cleaning/building products are used, cases of human health issues are well-documented.

When people fall ill, or worse, this can increase financial costs to individuals and businesses in the form of employees missing work, medical bills, and increased insurance costs, to name a few. This does not include, of course, the mental and psychological distress involved. 

As you can see, when the indoor environment is negatively impacted by indoor air pollution, it has negative impacts on our society and economy. It’s a viscous cycle that will not end until we reduce, and eventually end, our use of toxic chemicals and building products, and provide higher quality working conditions and building design.  

How To Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

There are many benefits to eliminating indoor air pollution. The good news is that there are ways you can help now. You can individually implement methods of reducing your toxic product usage through your daily actions and through products you use.

Little to big methods of change implemented individually can culminate to major, positive results towards reducing negative impacts on our environment.

Indoor Air Pollution - Conscious Consumerism

CORR Concepts is doing the home work for you to take the guesswork out of indoor air quality products.  Click the button below to be taken to the indoor air quality product third-party certifier list and ever-growing list of indoor air quality products you can use to lower your eco and carbon footprints and protect your health.

Indoor Air Pollution - Behavior Changes

Changing your indoor product use habits is the other component to reducing your indoor air pollution. These habit changes can be done in different levels. 

Below is a list of indoor air pollution reduction tips – from the easiest “low hanging fruit” methods (lighter-colored boxes), to more complex or up-front-cost methods (darker-colored boxes below) – that may have long-term health and financial savings. I encourage you to review these tips, pick some to use, and take the Indoor Air Quality Challenge below. 

If you want more tips and ideas, check out the Indoor Air Quality blog posts that are continually added for your convenience.

Indoor Air Quality Tips - How and Why

Indoor Air Quality Checklist image

Increase indoor ventilation

Remove indoor air pollutants cheap and easy by opening a window! The more ventilation from clean, outdoor air the better.

Benefits:

Fresh air will reduce indoor air pollutants that cause negative health effects and can reduce your medical bills.
Read More >

Use cooking vents

Cooking vents can reduce food and grease particulates in the air, and gas if you use a gas stove.

Benefits:

Fresh air will reduce indoor air pollutants that cause negative health effects and can reduce your medical bills.
Read More >

Monitor indoor air

Radon and carbon monoxide monitors are an inexpensive way to improve indoor air quality.

Benefits:

Indoor monitors can increase safety and improve health.
Read More >

Avoid air fresheners

Even if marked "unscented" or "natural", air fresheners can release phthalates, which are known to cause allergic symptoms, asthma, birth defects and reproductive issues.

Benefits:

Save money, and your health, and open a window if you want fresh air.
Read More >

Avoid "forever chemicals"

PFAS ("forever chemicals"), linked to cancer, thyroid, liver, kidney and other health issues, can be found in water-resistant clothing, furniture, shoes, make-up and sunscreens, for example.

Benefits:

Becoming a conscious consumer, doing your research and reading labels, can protect your health and the environment.
Read More >

No candles or incense

Candles and incense emit smoke that can be inhaled and can increase asthma risks. Smoke is a carcinogenic, meaning it could cause cancer.

Benefits:

Avoid incense altogether and keep candle use to a minimum for indoor safety and better health.
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Clean and ventilate chimney

Smoking chimneys pollute more carcinogenic particulates that collect in your home causing health and home damage.

Benefits:

Maintaining your chimney and ensuring good ventilation improves health, provides better energy efficiency, and reduces more costly issues later.
Read More >

Clean interiors regularly

Clean floors, carpets, furniture, and linens reduce dust, dirt and dust mites.

Benefits:

Eliminating dust, dirt and dust mites regularly can mitigate harmful respiratory issues and medical bills.
Read More >

Groom your pets

Our pets can bring dirt, dust, and insects inside, which we should try to avoid.

Benefits:

Regular grooming and bathing of your pet removes dander, pests and dirt for allergy and respiratory health, and pet health benefits!
Read More >

Clean appliances

Appliances like vacuum cleaners, kitchen vents and clothes dryers collect dirt and lint that release harmful particulates.

Benefits:

Changing out appliance and other filters regularly reduces indoor air particulates for easier breathing.
Read More >

Control indoor humidity

Dehumidifiers and using bathroom fans reduces chances of mold or mildew to grow, especially if you live in a humid climate.

Benefits:

Avoiding indoor mildew and mold can ward off major, respiratory and other health issues, and medical bills.
Read More >

Use indoor plants

Not just pretty to look at, the right indoor plants are an inexpensive way to improve indoor air quality.

Benefits:

Per NASA, the right indoor plants can natural air purifiers for improved indoor air quality.
Read More >

Quit smoking

Secondhand smoke, also called “environmental tobacco smoke” (ETS) collects indoors in buildings, cars and other enclosures that carry carcinogens that cause health problems, even death.

Benefits:

Create a healthy life for yourself and those you share indoor spaces with by quitting smoking or not smoking inside. Eliminating secondhand smoke would eliminate the billions of dollars in medical costs spent in the U.S.
Read More >

Contact your legislators

Contact your local and state government representatives to demand better product manufacturing policies and regulations and better building codes.

Benefits:

When government provides policies, regulations and programs to the public, we all win in more choices for sustainability products and reduce our impact on climate change.
Read More >

Say NO to chlorine bleach

Use only chlorine-free or oxygen bleach instead. They work just as well for cleaning and washing clothes without harming your health.

Benefits:

Chlorine bleach is toxic. It releases harmful gases into the air and toxins into our water ways. It causes harmful health issues and it not worth using. Protect yourself and the environment with a healthier alternative.
Read More >

Say NO to phosphates

Use natural products, like vinegar and baking soda, or environmentally-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products to protect your health.

Benefits:

Phosphates can be harmful to human health and create algae blooms in waterways which can kill ecosystems. Phosphate-based cleaners are not worth using. Protect yourself and the environment with a healthier alternative.
Read More >

Change HVAC air filters

Change out HVAC filters yearly for all-around benefits.

Benefits:

Fresh air filters not only protect human health for poor indoor air quality, they also prolong the life of your HVAC system and save on energy bills. Triple win!
Read More >

Use safe home building products

When building or remodeling, look for the environmentally-friendly product certifications.

Benefits:

A lot of flooring, carpets, furniture fabrics, paints, solvents and sealers contain chemicals harmful to human and our environmental health. Be a conscious consumer when making these product choices for your indoor environment.
Read More >

Make informed choices

Vote with your dollars" on what products are, or are not, sustainable. If you didn't buy it, they wouldn't make it!

Benefits:

Your purchasing dollars speak to all businesses. When you vote with your dollars, like not buying cleaners and cleansers that are harmful to the environment, you make the change towards better environmental, social and economic health.
Read More >

Use an air purifier

HEPA air purifiers can remove harmful particle pollutants like exhausts, dust and bacteria and improve your indoor air quality.

Benefits:

Prevent health issues and offset possible medical costs with the purchase of a HEPA air purifier. Check ENERGY STAR certified purifiers to also save energy and get a possible rebate.
Read More >

Hire an HVAC professional

A professional can clean out your duct system and make sure it’s running properly.

Benefits:

Clean HVAC systems ensure less rodent intrusion and particulate circulation, and improves long-term HVAC performance for health and financial benefits.
Read More >

Present ballot measures

Don't think your local or state regulations are enough for protecting our environment? Present your ballot measure!

Benefits:

Worth the time, your own ballot measure could promote sustainable business practices and increased safety in product manufacturing in your next election benefiting all for a long time to come.
Read More >

Take the Indoor Air Quality Challenge!

Take the CORR Concepts “Indoor Air Quality Challenge” by doing:

1. Take the pledge to eliminate all indoor smoking or quit smoking.

2. Pick at least one more of the Indoor Air Pollution Reduction Initiatives and implement them into your everyday life. Periodically, go back to remeasure your Ecological and/or Carbon Footprint to see if you’ve lowered your score. Keep adding more Indoor Air Pollution Reduction tips to your daily life to keep reducing your footprint(s)!

3. Share this webpage with at least one person so that the sustainability message will spread and enrich and benefit us all.

What are you waiting for?

Measure your Eco Footprint

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