Circulate Air Throughout Your Home to Reduce Health Issues
According to the EPA one of the top five urgent environmental risks to the public health is indoor air pollution. Nine out of ten homes have an indoor quality problem. This includes particles in the air, volatile organic compound (VOC’s), excessive dryness due to the temperature of the home or the total opposite where there is too much humidity in the environment.
Also Carbon monoxide or too much carbon dioxide in the air can be a problem in your bathroom and the rest of your house.
One simple way to improve the quality is to install a bathroom fan. An exhaust fan that ventilates to the outside is a good line of attack against mold spores by keeping your grooming space dry and moisture free.
Your architect or contractor should know what type of exhaust fan is best for your size of bathroom and most home improvement outlets will help DIYers to get the right fan for their bathroom. Another way is to purchase a portable air purifier system that you can place on your bathroom counter top, on a shelf or on top of your toilet tank.
The integrity of your ventilation system also plays an integral role in the air quality of your bathroom. Ultra violet light in an air duct treatment system is used to reduce bacteria, mold spores, viruses, and other microorganisms in your home.
Combined with excellent housekeeping and duct maintenance, an ultraviolet system can help to ensure that your household air supply is as sanitary as possible. Ultraviolet light is a high frequency light, organisms damaged by UV light are unable to continue to make the proteins which keep them alive and allow them to reproduce.
The downside of using UV in your ventilation ducts is that UV rays only kill or inhibit growth to what they physically come in contact with, so if you have a UV air cleaner with leaky ducts, contaminants can seep in down the line, polluting your household air after the UV light has sanitized it.
Still it is a good non-chemical solution to keeping the air clean in your bathroom ventilation system. An important thing to remember is that high-intensity ultraviolet lights are also damaging to people, so you can’t use UV in your living space.
VOC Off-Gassing Can Potentially be Harmful
What about your cabinets, countertops and floors? Believe it or not they too can affect the air quality in your bathroom.
Urea-formaldehyde is a chemical that is contained in most cabinetry; unfortunately it has also been found to release VOC’s into the air (otherwise known as off-gassing) for up to fifteen years after the manufacturing process which can be potentially harmful to your health.
Exposure to VOC’s increases the likelihood of experiencing symptoms of “sick building syndrome”. To combat this problem choose cabinets made from wheatboard or solid wood and make sure that they are finished with nontoxic finishes.
Tile is a great choice for counter tops because of its natural properties and durability, it will even be better if you stick with the green theme and purchase tiles that are either recycled from prior installations or made from recycled materials.
Linoleum is a sensible choice for flooring because it too is made of natural materials and naturally combats mold and mildew. It should be noted here that you can now purchase paints and wall paper for your bathroom that do not contain any VOC’s. Check with your local building supply’s store for brand names.
Air quality in our homes is not only important to our health but also to our quality of life. A simple thing like changing the filter in your furnace on a regular basis goes a long way in reducing unnecessary particles in the air that we breathe.
Keeping your bathroom environment dry and using green products to clean your lavatory will also help to facilitate a clean and toxic free bathroom. And having a small portable air purifier system on your toilet tank will ensure localized clean air in your bathroom when you need it most.