Holiday IAQ Blog Post

We often discuss solutions for keeping the air inside our workplaces clean from pollutants. We speak about the harmful outdoor air pollution in cities from cars, smog and factories. But during the holiday season, we have the unique ability to spend time away from work and at home with friends and family.

Studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA USA) have shown indoor air pollution levels are generally anywhere from two to 50 times higher than outdoor air. It is listed as one of the top five risks to human health. Some examples of causes for these levels of pollution inside the average home include air fresheners, burning candles, gases released from cooking, household cleaners and more. So, how do we enjoy the holidays safely?

First and foremost, skip the air fresheners and holiday scented candles. Air fresheners contain phthalates which can damage hormones and cause health problems, especially for youth. Many scented candles contain paraffin which release carcinogens when burned. When shopping for candles, find candles with cotton wicks to ensure a safe, clean burn, candles that use essential oils for scents as well as 100% stearin.

Second, we suggest sticking to natural items and real pine trees to decorate your home. According to the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York, “artificial trees, the bending of the branches, degrades the plastic and particles of dust containing lead and arsenic float in the air.” Keeping a well-watered evergreen in your home for the holidays reduces the risk of pollutants and outgassing of the plastic trees, as well as provides a festive scent! Other natural decorations such as branches and pine cones can also be great alternatives to plastic decorations. And, live plants improve the air quality in your home through photosynthesis.

The holidays aren’t the holidays without good, home cooking. Use your ventilation hood as frequently as possible and clean the hood on a regular basis to reduce pollutants from stovetops from reaching too much of the open air.

Although we don’t specialise in Christmas trees or candles, we do specialise in filtration. The absolute best way to protect your family during the holiday is to remove these contaminates from the air we breathe in indoor environments. Proper ventilation and filtration of recirculating air is the only way to remove these contaminants. Personal filtration options, such as our City Air Cleaners, ensure healthy air up to 75 square meters. The City M and City S are equipped with particulate and molecular filters and deliver a healthier indoor environment by removing dust, contaminants and harmful particles in department stores, offices, schools, hospitals, and homes. Find out more at Camfil.com!