Posts Tagged ‘indoor air quality’

Is Indoor Air Quality at School Affecting Your Child’s Health or Performance?

Friday, November 19th, 2010


indoor air quality in schools endangers healthIf you’ve diligent about indoor air quality at home and are concerned about the air quality at your child’s school, the American Lung Association has teamed up with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give you the tools you need to help clean it up.

Why is indoor air quality an issue? According to the EPA:

“Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical component of providing a healthy and comfortable learning environment. Indoor air pollutants may cause or contribute to short- and long-term health problems including asthma, respiratory tract infection and disease, allergic reactions, headaches, nasal congestion, eye and skin irritations, coughing, sneezing, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. In addition, indoor air pollutants and extremes in temperature and humidity may cause discomfort, which can affect students’ ability to concentrate and learn.”

Obviously, indoor air quality can have a serious effect on your child’s health, as well as their school performance.

In fact, it makes you wonder how many learning disability diagnoses might actually be attributed to toxins in the air at school. The same would also apply, of course, to the home.

If you suspect the air quality of the school because of problems with your child, or even if you’re just trying to protect your child’s health, find out from the school principal if they are involved in an indoor air quality program and precisely what measures they’re taking to ensure the air is safe. If they are not currently active in such a program, guide them to the American Lung Association website to read about the indoor air quality programs, plans, checklists and other materials they provide to help schools.

And, of course, follow up on it. They might even appreciate your help!

Cleaning Baby’s Nursery Air with House Plants

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

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Years ago I read a book called “How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office.” The book is very informative. It covers the various factors that contribute to our poor indoor air quality – everything from the 1973 OPEC oil embargo to new materials used for building, furnishings, and so on – and tells us which plants absorb and help neutralize the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being emitted from these materials. It’s very specific – tells you which plants are good for which compounds.

I lost my copy of the book in a move, and am definitely going to get another. The link above goes to Amazon.com if you’re interested in getting one.

What reminded me of this book is that I just read the results of a two-year study conducted by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) on house plants cleaning indoor air. They put each plant in sealed, Plexiglas chambers, injected chemicals into the chambers and monitored the results.

They came up with a list of the top 10 plants most effective in removing formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air. Here they are, with links to all but the most common few:

Of course, you also want to do everything you can to keep the offending substances out of your home in the first place. At Naturepedic, we help you address this with our crib mattresses, which are certified by GREENGUARD so you know they aren’t contributing to the VOCs in your household.

Check out the NASA study, read the book, and load up on the right plants. And make sure your children and the kids in your friends’ and family’s households are protected with Naturepedic toddler and crib mattresses.

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