This article points out a lot of interesting things concerning the ecology of our house that we sometimes miss. Why do many environmentalists say that “all the houses are an environmental dirt”? Let’s take a little tour of a typical apartment to sort out the issue.
Environmentally dirty houses are not a fantasy of scientists and specialists, but a real fact, which affects many people
Let us begin with the construction materials. Among them there can be very dangerous to health. So, over the last decade pressed plates on synthetic resins and synthetic coatings have become a part of our everyday life. They secrete a variety of active organic compounds, which are harmful to human health. Even widespread linoleum is recommended to use only in places where the person spend little time.
Relatively cheap plastic walls, wood fiber (MDF) and chipboard extruded plates are especially unfavorable for the room environment. In fact, they completely replaced the wood in our homes. Hardboard is also harmful. Binders in these materials are phenol and urea-melamine resin, which release decomposition products in the environment – air spaces where we live and work.
And when the production of chipboard was carried out with a violation of the technology, the phenolic evaporation for a very short time can lead to serious poisoning. Of course, there is nothing better than solid wood, although it has become now much more expensive. In an extreme case, if you really have no choice, it is necessary to cover the chipboard with a paint, varnish, some persistent compounds that prevent the release of harmful fumes into the air.
In today’s houses polymeric materials are the cause of an unpleasant specific smell, which causes fatigue, headache, increased asthma attacks. Cold PVC flooring tiles contribute to the common cold. In addition, these coatings retain the heat in the rooms in the summer cool in the winter. The things should be carried out vice versa, in fact.
Flooring, ceilings binder, room dividers, wall finishes, doors and built-in furniture are usually based on urea-formaldehyde resin, which releases general toxic poison into the air – formaldehyde.
The discovery that the walls made of polymer are radioactive was especially unpleasant. specially unpleasant for many was. Contained in these materials, even in trace amounts, radium and thorium constantly break with the release of radioactive radon gas. Its concentration in our living spaces can sometimes exceed the MPC 1000 times.
Radon is mainly excreted from the earth’s crust. Any ground construction accumulates this radioactive gas and does not let it dissipate into the atmosphere. It is believed that the highest concentration of radon is accumulated in stone and brick buildings, the minimum concentration is in wooden buildings. In our homes walls, ceilings, plumbing and cooking gas emit radon.
Regular ventilation of rooms
It reduces the content of radon in the air significantly. Do not clutter ventilation vents in the bathroom and toilet with different things. Emission of rodon and volatile organic polymers from the walls is reduced by plaster, thick paper wallpaper. It is desirable to arrange drafts from time to time, dispelling radon in the house. It is useful to leave the city apartment and go to a village cottage or stay in a forest in the tourist tent, at least for the weekend. Washed wall-paper with a polymer surface is also not environmentally friendly, but they reduce the content of radon and volatile polymers in the room by almost 10 times.
Concrete slabs may be of another danger: they actively absorb moisture from the air in new homes. It is known to many newcomers. A dry room air is not only unpleasant, but also causes disease of the upper respiratory tract, leading to brittle hair and skin flaking. The problem may be sold with the help of moisturizers. You may simply hang containers with water on the battery or to put them under. It has been observed that children living in the room with aquariums, suffer from respiratory diseases rarely. In addition, the view of water, swaying seaweed, floating fish calms the nerves and develops aesthetic sense. Aquarium is appropriate in any interior.
What furniture you should get rid of, and how to deal with dust?
Another danger comes from modern “antique” garniture style – oak or walnut. After all, it is glued and releases evaporation. However, they diminish after some time, in case of hard furniture. You may face troubles only during the first three years. Upholstered furniture is a more serious threat. In recent years, foam rubber or polyurethane gasket completely replaced the old materials – horsehair, hemp, dried seaweed. But the dust from the foam or foam padding is very harmful if compared to the normal room dust. The older the furniture is, the more dangerous it is. Therefore, natural wood furniture should be kept in the house as long as possible – try to restore or update it. But it is recommended to get rid of upholstered furniture after 10 years of service.
Dust is a constant companion in our apartments and the cause of many diseases. All we try to fight the dust in our apartment. For some people dust is only a household nuisance and inconvenience, but for patient with bronchial asthma dust is often the source of the disease or a factor supporting and aggravating its manifestations.
When getting in a dusty environment or cleaning the apartment, any person begins to sneeze, as he contacts with dusty things. This is a natural reaction. However, a patient with allergy or bronchial asthma reacts to home dust is some different way – the dust provokes allergic inflammation of the nasal mucosa, eyes, and bronchial tubes. Immediate consequence of allergies or chronic allergic inflammation that develops in contact with household dust, are a cough, shortness of breath, formation of viscous mucus in the bronchi, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, lacrimation, red eyes. These consequinces are individual for all people. Upholstered furniture in our apartments is a serious threat of a dust pollution.
Let’s take a look at the covers, capes, mats, rugs. There are houses where furniture is similar to cabbage. The upholstery of the sofa is too good to sit on it, so, you need a covering. Covering are also too good to sit on, so you need a bedspread, which is also covered with polyethylene dust, but it can be burnt with a cigarette, so we need another “clothes”. All these clothes are the additional dust collectors.
Any house dust is a comprehensive set of allergens; the main allergen is a microscopic mite. But you make a mistake, thinking that mites cause allergies themselves. They are not as dangerous as their metabolic products and dead individuals, as they contain keratin. Mites are tiny arthropods, invisible to the naked eye, of a size about 0.3 mm. The house dust contains mites of two species that can cause allergies, called “dermatofagondes”.
These mites feed mainly with shelled horny layer of human skin, which is a significant part of household dust. Therefore, the greatest number of mites is concentrated in a place where a person sleeps – in pillows, mattresses, blankets, etc. One gram of the mattress dust may contain from 2000 to 15000 mites. A sleeping person’s body is able to warm the bed up to 20-30 ° C, and create humidity – ideal conditions for the life activity of mites and mold.
You should observe the following rules to reduce your contact to dust:
- Sleep in a well-ventilated, dry bed;
- Change linen as often as possible;
- Books are also the source of dust, so they need to be cleaned regularly with a vacuum cleaner and kept on the glassed-in shelves and cabinets;
- Ventilate the room regularly;
- Do a wet cleaning every week;
- Do not abuse the rugs, especially near the kitchen sink, in the bathroom or toilet. Of course, carpets, rugs have their own purpose: to drown out the noise and absorb dust that somehow appears in dwellings. Carpets need to be cleaned regularly with a vacuum cleaner or beat with a stick on the street, cleaned from dust with snow;
- The source of the hazardous dust is an old foam in chairs and sofas. Foam should be replaced every 5-7 years;
- Try to get rid of knickknacks that collect dust;
- Use natural products when cleaning the house!
The next adverse products are synthetic detergents. These sources of allergens actively affect the skin. Besides, usually they contain synthetic surfactants which you will never completely delete from the washed utensils, furniture or laundered fabric. Therefore, it is better to go back to the economic soap, mustard, baking soda, and even charcoal if possible. And the rest of household chemicals, which is necessary for you, should be kept in an airtight cabinet or on the balcony.
You should strengthen the immune system for the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases. And you’d better do it by means of regular walks in the fresh air, sports, exercise, a healthy natural diet instead of medication.