You can eat the right foods, exercise more often, even try harder to reduce the amount of stress in your life. But did you know that maintaining a healthy home is yet another essential key to the healthy lifestyle equation? No matter how busy you are, there are no excuses for not making your home healthy. Here’s how you can make a significant difference in only 10 minutes from blackdoctor.org:
Step 1 – Open some windows. Indoor air is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. In fact, the indoor air in the typical American home contains over 500 chemicals, according to a recent study. Opening windows for even a few minutes a day can vastly improve your indoor air quality. Open one right now so that during the ten minutes you are doing your home makeover, you’ll be letting contaminated air out and fresh air in.
Step 2 – Dust electronics. One type of toxic chemical commonly found in household dust is flame retardants. Though electronics manufacturers have made great strides in reducing their use of harmful chemicals in recent years, tech gear still may contain brominated flame retardants – chemicals used to reduce the risk of fire that studies have linked to lower IQs in children and reduced fertility rates.
“BFRs used in the manufacture of circuit boards can be converted to highly toxic brominated dioxins and furans if the products are burned at the end of their life,” says Arlene Blum, executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute and chemistry professor.
But even daily use can be dangerous, says Blum. “When used in plastic casings, BFRs can also migrate out of the plastic into the dust in the room and then enter the body via the hand-to-mouth contact.”
While major manufacturers such as Apple, Dell and HP have moved away from BFRs in recent years, certain products built before 2009 – especially devices that generate a lot of heat, like laptops and laser printers – may still contain BFRs, says Michael Kirschner, associate director of the Green Science Policy Institute. “Do some research,” says Kirschner. “Almost all vendors now have an environmental section on their Websites that tells you about the materials they use.”
For immediate health protection, keep electronic equipment dust-free by damp dusting it frequently.