(NaturalNews) As air quality worsens, so does health. Oxygen intake is necessary for growth, maintenance and detoxification, but many areas suffer from both low levels of oxygen and high levels of damaging pollutants. To increase personal oxygen intake, drink clean water and vegetable juices, eat water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, and increase exercise. For clean air at home, take a few practical steps to breathe right.
The air quality in closed, indoor environments is often several times worse than outside, particularly in the winter, due to the outgassing of toxins by carpets and furniture. Air out your home as much as possible, even in cold weather, but only if you live in a place that has relatively clean air. Other options for ventilation include using bathroom and kitchen fans and running a window air conditioning unit with the vent control open.
Whether or not you live in an area low in pollution, plants act as attractive filtration systems in your house. Plants breathe in Co2 and breathe out clean oxygen; some even neutralize various pollutants. Aim for two plants for every 100 square feet, and remember that the more leaves a plant has, the more helpful it will be. Among the many effective varieties are aloe vera, English ivy, bamboo, palm, spider plant, mum, heart-leaf and split-leaf philodendron, and ficus.
Flooring, particularly carpeting, can accumulate a breathtaking amount of mold, heavy metals, and chemical pollutants. To reduce the toxic load, wipe your shoes thoroughly on a mat when coming inside or simply remove them. Use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction and a HEPA filter to reduce lead, allergens and chemicals and include upholstered furniture in your cleaning routine. Mop with plain water after vacuuming to eliminate remaining dust.
Safe cleaning products
The fragrances used in most air fresheners, laundry detergents and fabric softeners are actually composed of many chemicals, yet these are not required to be listed on product labels. To avoid hazards like phthalates, which disrupt hormones, refrain from using any spray product and look for cleaning products that are fragrance-free or naturally scented. Alternatively, sanitize with gentle DIY solutions like lemon juice or baking soda.
Negative ion generators
These small machines force electrons in the surrounding air to take a negative charge. These negatively charged particles are abundant in soothing places like forests and beaches, yet low in urban environments, and are linked to calm mood. Negative ions also tend to attach to positively charged pollutants, removing them from the air. The downside; however, is that these pairs are attracted to surfaces like curtains and furniture, and may present a cleaning problem.
Air filtration systems
Available for single rooms or your whole house, air filtration systems remove harmful particles from circulation and help to alleviate allergy symptoms. Look for a system with cleanable or removable filters that can catch very fine particles. Alternatively, some specialty furnace filters work in much the same way, and while expensive, they can be cleaned and reused.