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Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…about Indoor Air Pollution

 

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, is indoor air pollution a real heath problem?

A: Indoor air pollution can be a health problem, particularly in wintertime.  The Consumer Reports on Health (cr.org/health) shared these ideas about how to stay healthier:

  • VENT YOUR COOKING RANGE – “…The process of cooking food can also pollute your air.  But using your range hood, as long as it vents to the outdoors, can significantly reduce the amounts of pollutants you’re exposed to indoors, according to a 2014 study.”

  • KEEP FILTERS CLEAN – “If you use a forced-air cooling and heating system, using the right filter and changing it regularly (based in manufacturers’ recommendations) are key to keeping the air in your home clean.”

  • CONSIDER AN AIR PURIFIER – “Don’t have central heating and air?  A portable air purifier can also pull dust and smoke from the air.  Be sure to buy one designed for the size of the room in which you’ll be placing it.”
  • LEAVE THE FIREPLACE UNIT UNLIT – Ask Mr Pedometer and Friends about indoor air pollution - pic of an unused fireplaceA crackling fire might feel festive, but its smoke can pollute home air.  It’s best to use your in-home heating to keep warm”

  • BAN SMOKING – “Keep cigarette smoke out of your house – it’s a major polluter of indoor air.  Even the emissions from e-cigarettes may expose bystanders to heavy metals and other harmful substances, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

  • USE THE RIGHT VACUUM – “Vacuuming regularly can help with certain allergies, like those to dust mites.  But some vacuums can worsen indoor air, stirring up dust that can contain allergens and harmful particles.  A vacuum with a HEPA filter can help you avoid this pitfall.”

I hope these suggestions can help you combat indoor air pollution and help you stay healthy this winter.  And don’t forget that you can enjoy rain-rinsed winter air by going outdoors to take a walk.

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, AND STAY WELL