Did you know that the air in your home or office is in fact anywhere between two to five times more toxic and polluted that what you find outside? I mean, for a place that people tend to while away over 90 percent of their time, you’d think everyone would be paying more attention to the mixture of gases filling up their lungs every night and day.
Sure, everyone is all hyped up about how dangerous and hazardous it is to drive through town; what with all those environmental pollutants and toxic, ashy, soot-filled, waste just floating around. Some even blame it for their endless battle with asthma, allergies and a myriad of respiratory illnesses; each more brutal and health-wracking than the previous one. But the fact of the matter is – the real culprit was literally always right under your nose the whole time.
Good old poisonous indoor air.
But wait! Surely, the air in your home doesn’t get all polluted and chock full of toxic junk all on its own now, does it? You got that right. It’s all your fault, you as the homeowner and the kind of visitors, habits, and addictions that you abide by every single day. However, no one encourages the blame game or said pointing of fingers, but again, it’s all your bloody fault. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a few moments and see why bad air quality is almost always your own doing.
From the mattress and pillows that your rest on at night to the type of paint you use to spruce up your house, every single piece of everything in your house contains one harmful chemical or another. You may not even know it, but those innocent and colourful pyjamas that your kids love so much could be the cause of their constant complaints.
Breathing in a significant amount of toxic gases could lead to severe irritation in the eyes, rashes on your skin, and various asthma-like symptoms. Additionally, insecticides, shampoos, glues, carpets, even your shaving cream for Pete’s sake; all these items contain a toxic gas known as Formaldehyde. Cigarette smoking, both first and second hand are also major contributors to indoor air pollution.
So, now that we have asserted; without an iota of a doubt that it is your entire fault, let’s look at a few natural air purifiers that will work great in your home (and can be very useful if you can’t afford buying an electric air purifier, or you may be worried about its negative effects on your health).
1. Increase the Ventilation
One thing that ventilation helps combat is excessive build up of atmospheric water in your home. Too much humidity always has negative results for your health. However, I’m talking about doing a bit more than just opening your windows; after all, outdoor air is still filled with who knows what.
Instead, try to install some simple trickle vents that not only cycle the air you breathe indoors but help purify it too. Alternatively, you could use exhaust fans that will help push all pollutants outside. This is especially useful since cooking with a gas stove significantly increases nitrogen dioxide which is unsafe to breathe. Also, try to vent out excess steam and moisture after a shower.
2. Salt Lamps
Referred to as Himalayan pink salt, salt lamps are a great natural way to purify the air in your home. When these 200-million-year-old crystals of salt are heated by a tiny bulb built in on the inside, it causes the release of negative ions that are known to neutralise air pollutants. Additionally, the salt acts as a water absorber and takes in vapour from the air along with all pollutants and neutralises them.
Since they come in different shapes, sizes and weights, try to find one that is just right for your home. You can also leave the light on at night too as the natural orange glow will not disrupt your sleep. However, the fact that this bad boy works when turned off too in a great bonus.
3. Activated Charcoal
Another very efficient and handy natural air purifier is activated charcoal or active carbon. Its odourless and highly absorptive properties make it the most suitable candidate for the job. Thanks to the porous structure of the charcoal, air that passes through it gets filtered up and cleared of all bacteria, allergens, and harmful pollutants.
Since the charcoal also absorbs excessive moisture in your home air, it helps prevent the build-up of mould and mildew by using its innumerable pores as filtration and storage areas for moisture and impurities.
4. Beeswax Candles
Like most people who are addicted to scented candles, you usually buy your candles according to their colour and scent. However, what most of you don’t know is that most of these candles are petroleum derived and will definitely release elements of toluene, benzene, and soot in the air.
Now, these candles may smell like heaven, but they will do more harm than good for your health. Instead, go for beeswax candles that not only ionise and neutralise contaminants and toxic compounds but also contain no hint of petroleum and harmful chemicals. As an added bonus, beeswax candles burn more cleanly and slower than the average candle, making them a cost-effective, natural air purifier.
Surprise surprise; who would have thought that another living, growing and air breathing organism could actually help improve the quality of your air? We all know that plants breathe in CO2 and release clean, fresh and pure O2. However, NASA recently let us in on the fact that some plants are generally better at eliminating substantial amounts of formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethene among others.
So, which are these miracle working scientific manifestations of mother nature? According to the study by NASA, the top plants for natural air purification include the Bamboo Palm, Snake Plant, Boston Fern, English Ivy, Spider Plant, Butterfly Palm, Peace Lily and the Golden Pothos.
All these air purifying plants will work great, especially for people with any form of respiratory illness. Experts recommend that you have at least one plant for every 100 square feet for any efficient natural air purification to occur in your home.