10 habits that may be polluting your air at home – Week 2

Week 1

Using hygiene or cleaning products without adequate ventilation

We are all aware that certain cleaning products are supposed to be ventilated while in use, but did you know this also applies to many personal hygiene products? The humidity and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced while showering or using the bathroom are ventilated outdoors by the exhaust fan. VOCs at elevated levels may cause a range of uncomfortable side effects including headaches, coughing, and dizziness. These VOCs may stem from a range of different products including scented soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. We recommend operating the shower exhaust fan during showering and at least 15 minutes after.

VOCs can also linger in the indoor air from a wide assessment of personal care products including perfumes/cologne, hairsprays, nail polish, and nail polish removers. When using these products, it may be best to use them in a bathroom with the door shut and bathroom exhaust fan on. Another ventilation method would be to use near an open window, however this is much less effective than a properly functioning exhaust fan. The directions on many aerosol sprays and chemical cleaner say to “use a well-ventilated area’, however we have found that most people do not adequately follow these instructions. For this reason, using low VOC products may be the most reliable VOC reduction technique for most people.

Week 3

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