Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Indoor Air Quality …

Make Your Living Space Sneeze-Free (and Non-Toxic)

Recently, on a family vacation to the ocean, one of our family members— we’ll call him “Q”— was overcome with a fit of sneezing upon entering the home we had rented for our stay.

The sneezing continued with little relief for hours. The poor guy couldn’t seem to stop. Finally we headed over to see the Doc. The diagnosis: “Extreme Allergies”… “Take a look around the vacation rental for culprits: carpet, fabric, bedding,” we were advised.. “There are hidden toxins in every living space.”

We had suspected something of the sort, but now, hoping for ready relief for poor “Q”, we were on a Mission!

We noticed that “Q’s” sneezing seemed to erupt full-force in the bedroom. There we found that the newly installed carpeting had a distinctive odor which was obvious when you entered the room (off-gassing) . Also, the carpet was made of nylon and “Q” was breathing little bits of plastic whenever he went in that room. In fact, “Q” actually wheezed when he spent a few minutes there.

We closed the door and kept it closed.

If it could affect “Q” this way, imagine what it could do to the grandkids! Tiny bits of plastic in little kids lungs contribute to serious respiratory complications and asthma on an increasing basis. When grandparents are unaware of such health issues, they cannot safeguard the children’s well-being (or their own.) It occurred to us that so many of us simply do not know how to limit exposure to toxins in the air, even right in our own homes. Yet, healthy indoor air quality is an ECO ESSENTIAL.

With this in mind we hopped online and Googled “Indoor Air Quality”. Our research showed us that our vacation rental, with its well-intentioned new carpet and fresh coat of paint was off-gassing toxic fumes. The newly slip-covered sofas and chairs, comfy though they were, were emitting formaldehyde. No wonder “Q” reacted..

The whole experience made us great believers in non-toxic living spaces…and dogs who don’t turn themselves inside-out sneezing! (see picture of “Q” below)

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