Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Indoor air pollution in the nursery includes chemicals, fumes

The average "new" nursery can expose babies to 300
different chemicals and gases.
It’s often the invisible threats that are the scariest.

When the popular TV show “Good Morning America” with the help of Greenguard Environmental Institute (part of Underwriters Laboratories) started investigating what kind of air pollutants people are exposed to in the average home, no one thought the results would be this shocking.

They set up a room with a new crib, changing table, rocker and decorations and then they tested the indoor air quality for seven days.

The results: The indoor air in the new nursery contained 300 different chemicals. A test of the air just outside the home revealed only two chemicals.

The fact that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air is not that shocking, especially for regular readers of this blog. But 300 different chemicals? Ouch.

It is concerning because young children are most at risk from environmental pollution, since they breathe more and ingest more in proportion to their body size.

A big pollution culprit was the new crib mattress, which emitted more than 100 different chemicals.

The new furniture shared formaldehyde fumes and the new paint (I guess they didn’t go for the low-VOC version) contained chemical gases five times the recommended limit.

Source: ABC News

Bring home baby to a healthy nursery

It is rather disconcerting to know that these products are so easily and legally available and that too many people just don’t know about the importance of good indoor air quality in the home.

Especially expecting parents need to be vigilant about the types of products they use. The key to the best indoor air quality lies in a 3-pronged approach:
  1. Source control – Avoid adding contaminants into the ambient air. Be careful about new furniture and pressed wood products, fragrances and scents as well as high-VOC products.
  2. Ventilation – Open windows regularly to let fresh air in and inspect and maintain the ventilation system. Schedule renovations and paint jobs for fall and spring when windows can stay open for a longer period of time.
  3. Air filtration – A newborn’s immune system is still developing, but it doesn’t mean a baby should be bombarded with hundreds of chemicals. Use a multistage filtration system with activated carbon and HEPA in the room (the activated carbon removes chemicals and gases, HEPA filters out particles)
Air purifiers with activated carbon & HEPA
AllerAir specializes in superior air purifiers for the home and office that offer the most activated carbon in their respective price classes and the safest and most trusted filters and materials.

For small nurseries, try the AirTube Supreme with a 10 lb. carbon filter and medical-grade HEPA.

Other popular air purifiers for nurseries include the 4000 Exec and the AirMedic Exec.

Contact AllerAir for more information and options.