1. Clean Up Your Indoor Air
Smokestacks and tailpipes are obvious air-quality annihilators, but your main exposure to asthma-triggering, headache-creating air pollution is likely coming from right inside your own home! Major culprits like radon and cigarette smoke are probably already on your radar, but how about your showerhead and cookware? The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air pollution can be up to eight times worse inside than outside. Luckily, there are easy changes you can make to clear the air and potentially eliminate indoor air pollutants that have been linked to not only asthma attacks, but dizzy spells, obesity, and even worse, cancer.
2. Steamy Showers
You may already filter your drinking water, but what about your shower water? President Obama's Cancer Panel recommended that installing both drinking and shower water filters could be one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from developing cancer. During tubby time, you can absorb 100 times more chlorine in a 10-minute shower than you do drinking a gallon of the same water. Without a filter and ventilation, that toxic chlorine becomes airborne and gases throughout your home.
Easy Fix: To filter out chlorine, be sure to look for NSF/ANSI Standard 177: Shower Filtration Systems - Aesthetic Effects, which means it's third-party tested to effectively remove chlorine. If a water test turns up elevated levels of other contaminants, make sure you buy a filter that is certified to remove them.
3. Your Scary Basement
You've probably heard about radon, and the importance of properly testing for the naturally occurring, cancer-causing gas. While it's certainly important, there are other things in your basement that could be trashing your air, too. Paint cans, even sealed ones, often leak airway-annihilating volatile organic compounds, aka VOCs.
Easy Fix: Take old paint to a waste-collection facility for recycling, or donate it to neighbors or a charity. Store any new paint in an unattached shed or garage, if possible.