Effective solutions for removing gases that cause asthma and other health problems.
Poor air quality in your home may be your biggest health risk.
Breathe easy. Rest easy.
Imagine drinking water that is crystal clear, but laden with dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene. These same gases and others commonly found in household air have been linked to the 300% increase in asthma over the past few decades and can contribute to health problems ranging from headaches to cancer and premature death.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that levels of many hazardous gases in homes average 2 to 5 times, and occasionally up to 1,000 times, higher than in outdoor air. EPA research shows that chemicals in our home from cleaning agents are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor pollution. This has led the EPA to name indoor air quality as one of America's top five health threats.
Allergen air filters available at major retailers don't remove hazardous gases in your home that cause asthma, cancer and other problems
These chemical gases pass right through even high quality particulate air filters designed to remove allergens and tiny particles, including HEPA filters. Opening windows and doors to air out a house may reduce some chemical concentrations, however this can increase levels of particulates such as pollen and chemicals in outdoor pollution such as ozone. Sealing your house and using an allergen filter will reduce particulates, but this traps and circulates gases throughout your home. Some purifiers and HVAC modifications can be effective, but cost from $800 to $3000 and purifiers only affect limited areas.
Modern materials used in everything from furniture to cleaning agents are a major source of these hazardous gases. Formaldehyde, a chemical used in embalming fluid, is emitted from composite wood resins used in pressboard furniture, plywood subflooring and more. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, a known carcinogen, are commonly emitted from paints, cleaning agents and federally mandated fire retardant fabric coatings.
According to a 2007 study, the majority of household air fresheners contain industrial chemicals called phthalates (pronounced thal-ates). The use of air fresheners cause phthalates to be released into the air, where they can be inhaled or absorbed.
There is evidence that phthalate exposure can cause hormonal abnormalities and it has been linked to birth defects and reproductive harm, particularly in males. Phthalates are rarely listed on labels, although they are a main ingredient for fragrance.
The aroma of citrus and pine oil in many products, including air fresheners, is refreshing, thanks in part to chemicals called terpenes. Although terpenes are not toxic, they have been found to react with ozone to produce a variety of toxic compounds, including formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde and benzene have been detected in some air fresheners. Formaldehyde has been linked to cancers of the upper airways and benzene is known to cause leukemiain humans.