Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Second-Rate Cleaning

Some of the practices that people take to improve indoor air quality don’t have the effect you might expect. Here are some examples:

• Air cleaners. Air cleaners can trap indoor air pollutants, but many don’t work that well, and some emit extra ozone that can aggravate asthma. If you plan to buy an air cleaner, check the reviews from a reliable source like Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org). And remember that air cleaners have limitations— for example, a good one can remove particles from nearby air, but it can’t purify the whole house. (In fact, because of the way that extremely light PM2.5 particles drift through the air, an air cleaner might not be able to keep even a single room particle-free.)

• Vacuuming and dusting. These activities are keenly important to prevent excessive dust from building up in your home. However, both practices disturb dust and send particles into the air, which means that air quality may actually decrease immediately after a thorough cleaning. To reduce this effect, dust with a damp rag or an electrostatic cloth. You can also use a vacuum that has a built-in HEPA filter, which traps fine particles that would ordinarily be blown back into your house as part of the vacuum’s exhaust. (However, most vacuums are so poorly sealed that plenty of dust can escape, no matter what type of filter they use.)

• Air fresheners. Air “freshening” is an odd idea, with roughly the same scientific underpinnings as palm reading. Many air fresheners simply use aromas to mask offensive smells, although some include a nose-numbing chemical that makes it more difficult for you to smell anything, good or bad. Along with these dubious ingredients, air fresheners release several chemicals that are linked to lung irritation and (in high concentrations) to lung damage.

Sourceo of Information :  Oreilly - Your Body Missing Manual

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