Grandma Knew Best About Creating a Healthy Home

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healthy-homeGrandmothers certainly had the wisdom to tell us to wash our hands, not wear shoes in the house, and open the windows, but now science has proven them to be right in their ideas about having a healthy home. Ventilation, for example, can help reduce indoor volatile organic compounds or chemicals more quickly. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency advises us that, without sufficient outdoor air, pollutants can sometimes accumulate to levels that can cause health and comfort problems. Reminiscent of grandmother, science suggests a good approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming in. To read about ways to get proper ventilation into your home, you can visit EPA’s site on indoor air quality for more information.

Modern day technology now allows us to achieve cleaner air even when we cannot open windows. This would have made our grandmothers happy. Air filters can actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease caused by air pollution. HEPA filters (high efficiency particle air filters) found in some vacuum cleaners and also in straight air purifiers have been shown to reduce airborne particulate matter, resulting in improved blood vessel health and blood markers that are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This study was documented in the American Thoracic Society Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Data found that portable HEPA air purifiers can help reduce particulate concentrations and can influence positive effects in cardiovascular function. Particularly, people over the age of 65 seem to really benefit, so next time you are looking to improve your health, think about picking up a HEPA air purifier for your home.

Repeatedly telling us to wash our hands and take off our shoes in the house, grandmothers must have known that the environment outside our homes was abundant with microorganisms and toxins. Bacteria, for instance, live in the soil around our houses, but are especially abundant around the roots of plants and deteriorating debris. Bacteria, like enterobacter (found in soil) and E. coli (excreted from most mammals, deer, squirrels, dogs) are plentiful outside and certainly cause health concerns. These bacteria can enter the home on shoes, and from pets that go outdoors and love to roll in dirt and soil. To keep bacteria in your home to a minimum, take off your shoes before entering your home, invest in a “paw wiper” for your animals if they go outside, and always wash your hands thoroughly after being outside or playing with your pets.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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May 2016
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