It’s no surprise that air pollution can affect your health, but did you know that indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air? Have you ever thought about how much time you spend inside? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that people spend about 90% of their time indoors. Because of this, the EPA also ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. So how can you detoxify the polluted air in your home?

6 steps to detoxify the air in your home

Prevention is the most effective way to ensure a clean environment in your home. Follow these 6 steps to detox polluted air for cleaner indoor air.

1. Use non-toxic materials in your home

  • Bamboo, cork, or tile flooring instead of carpet.
  • Organic cotton or wool rugs.
  • Paint without VOC or with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds).
  • Solid wood furniture instead of chipboard.
  • Untreated organic fabric for bedding, shower curtains, and window treatments.
  • 100% natural latex mattress with organic wool mattress cover.

2. Repair any leaks and replace damaged drywall

Moisture is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew and mulch. You can help prevent mold and mulch in your home by controlling the humidity level. The EPA recommends keeping the humidity inside your home between 30 and 60%. Specific preventive measures could include:

  • Checking the roof, attic, basement, or foundation for damage and leaks
  • Repairing leaks in the bathroom, kitchen or ceiling
  • Replace any drywall with signs of water damage
  • Hang towels 3-4 inches from walls
  • Use air conditioning units and dehumidifiers during humid months.
  • Buying a moisture meter at your local hardware store
  • Increase air circulation by opening doors or windows and using fans

3. Choose non-toxic chemical cleaners and avoid pesticides

  • Use natural kitchen cleaners
  • Prevent pests by covering trash cans, storing food in airtight containers, and sealing cracks and small spaces
  • Steam clean clothes instead of dry cleaning

Detoxify your air regularly

Once you’ve done everything you can to keep toxins out of your home, the next step is to regularly detoxify your indoor air, especially if you have indoor pets. This can be done with plants, vacuum cleaners, or sophisticated air purifiers.

4. Buy air purifying plants

One of the cheapest ways to purify your air is to keep plants in your home. Plants are the main contributors to cleaning indoor air. Many plants are capable of absorbing a number of toxins and eliminating them from the environment. Some air-purifying houseplants include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Spider plant
  • Dracaenas
  • English ivy
  • Bamboo palm

5. Consider a HEPA vacuum

When vacuuming pet dust and / or dander, you want to make sure your vacuum is not blowing toxic air from one place to another. Look for a vacuum with a HEPA bag filter to ensure that you successfully remove toxins from your home environment.

6. Invest in a HEPA filter / air purifier

You can clean the air in your home with a HEPA air filter. There are air purifiers that are designed to remove even the smallest particles from your air, including viruses, pet dander, dust mites, air pollution, and even cigarette smoke.

Whether you decide to purchase an air-purifying plant for your apartment or replace your entire home with untreated organic furniture, every step you can take toward a cleaner, healthier home is one step closer to a healthier, happier person.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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