As the air grows warmer and spring bestows the gift of a burgeoning, blossoming world, you — among many others — may find yourself throwing back the blinds, pulling out the duster, and putting a little elbow grease into your annual spring cleaning routine.
But as you pull out your variety of household cleaners with which to douse and disinfect your home, you may want to stop a moment to read their labels, open the vents, and be wary of what chemicals your may be unwittingly introducing to the lungs of your loved ones.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, aerosol sprays, cleansers, and personal disinfectants are among the top household products that emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the air. Such VOCs, once airborne, can be inhaled by the home’s residents, prompting a series of potential adverse health effects like increased asthma attacks, irritated eyes, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sore throats, and even cancer.
Additionally, once sprayed, these chemicals may sometimes land on food and beverages, thereby being directly consumed, unbeknownst to the diner.
Moreover, these products often feature artificial fragrances as a means of making their use more pleasant and palatable; however, studies indicate that the fragrances mixed into these chemical concoctions may serve to further irritate consumers’ health — all while increasing the overall emission of VOCs in your home.
The American Lung Association recommends that spring cleaners “read all labels on cleaning supplies and household products before you buy them,” as well as opt for alternative products that have either zero or reduced levels of VOCs, artificial fragrances, and flammable ingredients.
And remember — just because a product proclaims itself as “green” or “environmentally friendly,” that does not mean it is VOC-free or less hazardous to your health.
Thankfully, the EPA offers a list of Safer Choice products that meet a variety of health and environmental standards, and homeowners who are more dedicated to their research can find further guidance regarding the use and interpretation of environmental marketing claims from the Federal Trade Commission.
No matter the cleaning product you choose, there are some ways to eliminate VOCs in the home as you clean, all of which are relatively standard and easy.
For example, the Indoor Air Quality Association recommends vacuuming regularly, installing High Efficiency Particle Air Filters (HEPA) or purifier, and keeping the ventilation open — particularly when chemical products are in use.
Otherwise, take advantage of the beautiful spring season. While cleaning, open your windows or doors, and always make sure to use and store household products according to manufacturer’s directions,
That being said, if you believe you may have a hazardous level of VOCs present in your home, it’s time to contact Luce Air Quality. We offer thorough VOC testing done right the first time, and we offer immediate response to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. Call us today at (904) 803-1014 to learn more!