10 Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Be Safer Inside Your Own Home

image of products that are unsafe for use in the homeThe following message about keeping your home safe from toxic chemicals, comes from Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

If you don’t use a toxic chemical in the first place, then you don’t have to contain it, clean it up, or be exposed to it—which is what preventing pollution is all about. Follow these tips to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals and create a safer and healthier indoor living environment for you and your family.

1) Household Cleaners: Look for labels that divulge ALL of the cleaner’s chemicals. Besure to avoid using cleaners that contain these suspect hormone disrupter chemicals:Nonyl- and octyl-phenols are used to make alkylphenol ethoxylate (APE) detergents.

2) Disinfectants. Limit the use of disinfecting products in your home. They contain chemical agents that are capable of destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. Overuse could lead to the growth of ‘superbugs.’ The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies disinfectants and anti-microbials as pesticides.

3) Lawn Care and Pests: Children and pets in particular are exposed to pesticides tracked inside homes from lawn treatments. Pesticide exposure also occurs from using off-the shelf pest repellents. Use organic lawn care methods like mowing high and adding topsoil. To get rid of pests, remove food sources, use boric acid and traps.

4) Vinyl Floor and Wall Coverings: Flexible vinyl household products like flooring and wallpaper are manufactured using PVC that may have toxic chemical additives including phthalate plasticizers and lead. As these products are used, they create dusts that accumulate these chemicals. Choose non-PVC wall and floor coverings to minimize potential exposure to these toxins.

5) Building Materials: Plywood, oriented strand board, kitchen cabinets and home insulation are all products that can contain formaldehyde, a known human cancer causing chemical. Choose solid woods and formaldehyde-free insulations when constructing or renovating your home.

6) Personal Care and Beauty Products: Choose products that are fragrance free and reduce your use of nail polish and acetone nail polish remover. If you do use these products, be sure to open the windows in your home when you use these products.

7) Dry Cleaning: Ask your dry cleaner if they offer safer alternatives such as liquidcarbon dioxide or “wet cleaning” rather than the commonly used cleanerperchloroethylene, a suspected cancer-causing chemical.

8) Got Moths?: Eliminate the use of mothballs since they contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Instead, clean and seal wool clothes, use cedar blocks, shavings or oil.

9) Mold: Dry is the operative word. Prevent mold and the overuse of bleach by preventing moisture build up in the first place. Fix leaky pipes and faucets immediately. Make sure that water slopes away from the foundation of your home.

10) Basement: Do not leave a car running even with the garage door open especially if the garage is under the living area. Carbon monoxide can easily seep through walls and floors. When your oil company calls during the slow summer months to clean your boiler, don’t delay. And test your house for radon.


Source: Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts LowellThis information is provided as a public service from the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Established by the State’s Toxics Use Reduction Act of 1989, TURI provides research, training, technical support, laboratory services and grant programs to reduce the use of toxic chemicals while enhancing the economic competitiveness of local businesses.


Take 25

Take 25 is a preventive child safety campaign created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Take 25 Take 25 encourages parents, educators and others involved in caring for children to take 25 minutes to speak with their child(ren) about safety. The Take 25 website, www.take25.org is a site you will want to visit. It is filled not only with what to say and share with children, but how to say it so as not frighten children in the process.

Take 25’s focus is on prevention. Their site provides free safety resources including safety tips, conversation starters, and engaging activities. A key feature on the site is the page, “25 ways to make kids safer,” with categories that include:

  • Home safety
  • Internet safety
  • Going to and from school
  • Being out of the house on their own

The discussion guidelines page advises adults to be prepared for a safety discussion by knowing the safety materials, considering what to share and how to share it given a child’s age and having visuals that will help the child understand what is being explained to him or her.

Take 25 content suggests making the most of everyday opportunities to speak about personal safety rather than waiting for the “right time,” Such everyday opportunities could be a family meal or a ride in the car or a walk. Take 25 literature stresses that any discussion needs to include encouraging your children to talk openly and ask questions.

Guidelines on Take 25 reinforce talking not lecturing children on safety.

Safe behaviors can be shared in ways that are not frightening to young children. The way that adults share safety information can help children develop the confidence to believe that they will know what to do, or who to turn to in an unsafe situation.

Take 25 gives parents the means to feel more comfortable when their children are out on their own.


Tips for In-Home Summer Safety for Children

 The following tips, on summer safety for children, are from a press release by SecuritySystemReviews.com

Summer is a time of outdoor activities and fun, but it’s also a time to maintain a high level of safety and security for children.

childrenProfessionals at SecuritySystemReviews.com created a list of the top three tips to help parents keep children safe and secure during the carefree months of summer.

The summer is a highly valued time for many choldren. It means more freedom, time away from school and great weather to enjoy outdoor activities. Despite the many advantages of summer, it is important that parents set guidelines and take safety and security into consideration.

1.    Consider installing a home security system. Summer is a great time to look for discounts for security systems, and not only do many companies offer special summer prices but security systems can provide a great deal of peace of mind for parents, particularly parents who work and have children at home during the summer. Of particular interest for many parents are home automation systems, because not only do these systems provide a great deal of security, but they also allow parents to monitor what’s going on during the long days of summer, even while away at work. Home automation systems are also ideal for summer because they can help homeowners save on summer utility bills, which can be extremely costly.

2.    Set expectations for children the summer. The summer can mean long days of little or no supervision for children, particularly children of parents who work, but it’s important to create a sense of structure, even when school isn’t in session. This will allow children to remain safer and more secure, even if not constantly supervised. By setting rules about everything, for example behavior while with a sitter, or rules while swimming, children will understand what’s expected of them and the summer is more likely to progress smoothly and without accidents or safety and security hazards.

3.    Create a schedule. Often, since it is summer and children aren’t in school there isn’t a set schedule or routine, whether parents work or not, and this can lead to times that aren’t occupied meaning more opportunities for lapses in safety and security. Similarly to setting expectations, creating a schedule can be a way to reduce the possibility of accidents and allow both children and parents to enjoy summer without worry or concern.

Source: SecuritySystemReviews.com is a leading third party site that provides comprehensive information about the home security industry, such as in-depth Front Point Security reviews. Additionally the site also provides users with easy-to-use comparisons of the top security systems throughout the country, as well as information about pricing, discounts and coupons.


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