Indoor pollution

According to a study by “60 millions de consommateurs” in March 2017, the air inside our homes is 5 to 7 times more polluted than the air outside! In fact, we find more than 900 chemical substances! Where does this pollution come from? I explain it all to you!

What causes indoor pollution?

The air you breathe in your home can be polluted by various factors:

  • non-ecological paints
  • new furniture made of chipboard or plywood
  • unnatural and non-ecological scented candles
  • unnatural and non-ecological incense
  • commercial household products
  • cooking fumes

When we are not aware of it, we sometimes make bad choices thinking we are doing the right thing: for example, buying cheap candles or incense in a decoration shop, just to make it smell good. And when we look more closely at the labels, we realise that by burning these candles or incense we are actually polluting our homes with undesirable chemical substances.

bougies et diffuseurs
Photo by Mary Skrynnikova on Unsplash

Good habits to limit indoor pollution

In many of my articles, you will find this same recommendation: air the rooms every day! Ideally, you should leave it open for at least 10 minutes in the morning. Forget about air purifiers! Some of them have not proven their effectiveness, on the contrary, they would release, in their purification process, nanoparticles that are harmful to people suffering from asthma. Open the window, it’s free and very effective!

Another good idea is to look at the labels when buying candles. Industrial candles are usually made from paraffin, which releases many toxic substances (acetone, benzene, toluene) and emits soot. In addition, the fragrances are artificial, the dyes are synthetic and this also generates undesirable substances.
Therefore, prefer candles made from organic vegetable wax (coconut, rape or soya wax) and natural fragrances. Finally, the wick is also important: choose one made of cotton, linen, hemp, etc.

The same applies to incense: make sure it is 100% natural. Some shops only sell sticks soaked in solvents and synthetic perfumes! Imagine what you get when you burn them…

At home, I use perfume diffusers and I also have an essential oil diffuser that I use more specifically in winter.

For furniture, it is better to choose solid wood, metal, glass… And if you don’t have much of a budget, go for second hand! Chipboard furniture gives off formaldehyde, a highly volatile compound that is known to cause cancer.

Still on the subject of decoration, think ecological paint! Since 2013, these products must indicate their level of volatile pollutant emissions, so you can compare the VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) levels. Be careful, the eco-label guarantees less toxicity but does not certify that the manufacturing process only uses natural raw materials.

Finally, let’s finish with household cleaners: they may contain VOCs, ammonia, synthetic surfactants, phosphates, terpenes, chlorine, chemical perfumes, etc. Do not use sprays and other sprays, toilet blocks and drain openers. If you use wipes, limit their use and do not flush them down the toilet! Even biodegradable ones don’t have time to dissolve before they reach the sewage plant. Bleach, on the other hand, is best used sparingly and diluted.
What if you switched to homemade products? It is very easy to find the necessary ingredients today: sodium bicarbonate, black soap, white vinegar, etc. 

fenêtre ouverte
Photo by Adrien Siami on Unsplash

Recipes for homemade cleaning products

Multi-purpose household cleaner

400 ml hot water
100 ml white vinegar (spirit vinegar)
10 drops of lavender essential oil
10 drops of tea tree essential oil

Mix all the products in a bottle with a spray gun and shake.

Product for the windows

100ml white vinegar
200ml water
10 drops of lemon or eucalyptus essential oil

Mix all the products in a spray bottle and shake. This product can also be used to spray in the toilet bowl.

Toilet cleaner

sodium bicarbonate
elbow grease!

Spread the bicarbonate on the toilet walls and scrub with the brush. Rinse.

Hood and oven cleaner

black soap
or bicarbonate paste

Bathroom product (for a 1 l bottle) :

10 cl of white vinegar
1 tablespoon of baking soda
30g of soda crystals
10 drops of tea tree oil

Complete with hot water and shake well before use.

Nettoyant maison
Pollution intérieure
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