Home health – fresh air

By Narelle McDonald

Last month we took a fresh look at our homes and entrances. Did you make any changes? Can you feel a difference?

Now we are going to move inside and touch on the topic of chemicals and allergens. These are often found in common household items and can play a major role in the air quality and therefore the health of your home. According to the EPA indoor air pollution maybe up to 100x higher than outdoor air pollution.

We are all familiar with the smell of the cleaning isle in the supermarket, that new car smell or the smell of new paint and carpets.  Did you know what you smell is the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) off gassing.

An important element in creating a healthy home is an understanding that just because a product is common doesn’t mean its safe. There is often a misconception that if it’s on a supermarket shelf it’s been thoroughly tested. That, however, is not the reality.

According to Asthma Australia we have one of the highest allergy rates in the western world, with 1 in 4 children having asthma. Our exposure levels to chemicals and allergens have never been higher, so this subject is important to bring awareness to.


7 Simple Measures to Reduce Exposures

  1. Leave your shoes at the front door – you can eliminate your dust load by a staggering 50% using this one simple measure.
  2. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a motorised head – this will not only remove dirt but will not put particles back into the air you breath.
  3. Bring beauty into your home through fresh flowers, plants and using essential oils. No need for nasty synthetic air-fresheners.
  4. Read labels and opt for personal care products that are organic and natural. If you need a chemical degree to decipher it’s time to consider other options.
  5. Rethink your perfume options, if you use standard perfumes with one spray you may be exposing yourself to a huge amount of petrochemicals.
  6. Opt for natural textile and sheet options such as bamboo, hemp, silk and organic cotton. Be aware that anything that is anti-crease or anti-wrinkle is treated with formaldehyde.
  7. Skip the commercial cleaners and go back to basics using vinegar, bicarb soda, Castile liquid soap and essential oils. This will also save you money.


You can make a huge difference to your family’s wellbeing, by the choices you make and the products you decide to use in your home. I encourage you to consider these simple measures to create a healthier home.


Narelle McDonald is a qualified Building Biologist and Feng Shui Consultant and founder of Healthy Living Spaces.





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