Debra's List Debra Lynn Dadd
 
 

Indoor Air Quality

While my best recommendation for improving indoor air is to remove all the sources of toxic pollution and open the window, there are times when the air in your home needs testing and you need to adjust moisture or pollution. These links address all aspects of indoor air quality, so you can breathe easy.


Resources

American Lung Association Health House
Lots of information in English and Spanish about indoor air quality. Detailed tip sheets tell about choosing and using furnace filters, mold control, testing your home for radon, carbon monoxide poisoning, controlling cockroaches, use and care of home humidifiers and dehumidifiers, reducing dust mite allergens, and more.
Green Seal Choose Green Report - Room Air Conditioning
Advice on choosing environmentally-friendly room air conditioning from "an independent, non-profit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment...evaluations are based on state-of-the-art science and information using internationally recognized methods and procedures...[their] only purpose is to direct the purchaser to environmentally responsible products and services." Their work includes development of environmental standards for products in specific categories and certification of products that meet these standards. This report gives specific brand recommendations for products that meet their criteria for room air conditioning.
Green Seal Standards for Central Air-Source Heat Pumps
Advice on choosing environmentally-friendly central air-source heat pumps from "an independent, non-profit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment...evaluations are based on state-of-the-art science and information using internationally recognized methods and procedures...[their] only purpose is to direct the purchaser to environmentally responsible products and services." Their work includes development of environmental standards for products in specific categories and certification of products that meet these standards. This link leads to their standards for central air-source heat pumps.
Green Seal Standards for Residential Central Air Conditioning Systems
Advice on choosing environmentally-friendly residential central air conditioners from "an independent, non-profit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment...evaluations are based on state-of-the-art science and information using internationally recognized methods and procedures...[their] only purpose is to direct the purchaser to environmentally responsible products and services." Their work includes development of environmental standards for products in specific categories and certification of products that meet these standards. This link leads to their standards for residential central air conditioners.
Greenguard
Has product certification programs which recommends products that improve indoor air. They currently have three programs: GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified® (for low emitting interior building materials, furnishings, and finish systems), GREENGUARD for Children & SchoolsSM (for low emitting interior building materials, furnishings, and finish systems used in educational (daycare and K-12) environments), and GREENGUARD for Building ConstructionSM (for newly constructed multifamily and commercial properties that follow best practice guidelines for preventing mold during the design, construction and ongoing operations). All GREENGUARD Certified Products have been tested for their chemical emissions performance according to specific emissions standards given on the website. A good place to check when you are looking for building and interior products.

General


Indoor Air Quality USA
National listing, resource & networking site for indoor air quality professionals, including Mold Testing and Remediation Companies, Indoor Air Quality Associations, Mold Classes and Certification Courses, Thermal Imaging Inspectors, Laboratories, Indoor Air Quality Product, Tools and Equipment Suppliers, Industrial Hygienists, Radon, Lead Paint, Asbestos, Structural Drying Companies, Home Inspectors, Duct cleaning and all IAQ professionals. Also links to IAQ resources websites. These listings are not screened in any way as far as I can tell, but you can use it to find local IAQ professionals and evaluate them for yourself.

Air Filters



Aireox Research
Portable, quiet home and auto air filters with metal housings. Removes both gasses and particles. Used by many people with multiple chemical sensitivities.


Allergy Buyers Club
Carries tried-and-true air filters from multiple manufacturers. Great consumer comparison pages allows you to easily compare features.


Allermed Corporation
Portable home and and central air units with metal housings. Removes both gasses and particles. Used by many people with multiple chemical sensitivities.


E. L. Foust Company
For thirty years, this company has been manufacturing air filters with metal housings and serving the MCS community. Their home and auto air filters remove both gasses and particulates. They also sell a variety of other products useful for reducing indoor air pollution, including HVAC filters, vacuum cleaners, nontoxic paint and caulk, and more.


Green Nest
Air filters that remove both gasses and particulates in various sizes. All have medical-grade HEPA filters, steel housings, energy-saving motors, and come in a variety of decorator colors.


N.E.E.D.S.
A comprehensive selection of brand name air filters, including Aireox, Austin, and Aller Air, that are tried-and-true for people with MCS. Also carbon-filtered masks from I Can Breathe! Masks and Dixie Masks, as well as personal air supply products from Wein--all of which are designed to effectively reduce, even remove, gases, odors, irritants, mold, chemicals, and particles from the air. Discounted prices.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms



Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarms
This link goes to Kidde alarms sold on amazon.com. Both models have digital displays so you can monitor carbon monoxide levels in your home.

Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)


LessEMF.com
"The EMF Safety SuperStore" really does have everything you need to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields in your home. You'll find EMF meters and detectors, EMF shielding devices, low-EMF appliances, books and videos on EMFs and more.

Westin A. Price Foundation
A small, very inexpensive ($20) E-Field Detector that chirps if there are dangerous levels. While this unit doesn't tell you an exact measurement, it is small enough to fit in pocket or purse and you can use it to at least get a general idea of EMF danger or safety wherever you go.

Fireplaces & Woodstoves


FireCrystals
These tempered glass "crystals" are used instead of wood or gas logs as the heating component in natural gas or wood-burning fireplaces and outdoor fire pits. Burning these glass crystals gives the heat (as much as burning wood) and ambiance of a fire while dramatically reducing fine particulate air pollutants--no soot or ash or carbon toxins are released. The glass crystals are completely safe to handle and last a lifetime. They come in many colors, about half are made from recycled glass.

Humidity Control



Allergy Buyers Club
A large selection of humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Great consumer comparison pages allows you to easily compare features plus lots of background information on humidity control.

Our Green House
A digital hygrometer--the instrument that measures humidity in indoor air.

HVAC Filters (High-efficiency)


3M Filtrete Air Cleaning Filter
Ninety percent effective at attracting and capturing pollen, mold spores, and dust mite allergens, and captures microscopic allergens including smoke, pet dander, household dust, smog, bacteria, and particles that can carry viruses. Meets the Health House indoor air quality requirements set by the American Lung Association Health House program. MERV 11, Filter Effectiveness Rating 1250.

NaturalAire Microparticle Air Filter
Captures and reduces particles as small as 1 micron, including mold spores, smoke, pet dander, pollen, cooking smoke, dust mite debris, and household fibers. MERV 10, Filter Effectiveness Rating 1000. Baking soda (optional) coating on fibers increases odor removal and gives more contact area for the dust to be captured by the filter.

Indoor Air Quality Testing


Indoor Environmental Technologies
Offers "a complete physical for your home or office," including chemical and pesticide testing, indoor air quality testing, microbiological surveys, mold and moisture control surveys, new construction "healthy home" testing, building pressure analysis, electromagnetic field testing, and more. Their staff of highly experienced trained professionals use state-of-the-art instrumentation. Available nationwide for inspections for homes and businesses and have a network of affiliated experts throughout the United States, Canada and Europe they can refer you to. I visited their office and the range of instruments they have is amazing. If you have an indoor air problem you can't easily solve, these are the folks to call. Certified Bau-Biologie inspectors.

International Institute for Bau-Biologie and Ecology
A nationwide directory of certified home inspectors trained in Bau-biologie--the biology of healthy buildings. Bau-biologie inspectors include a full spectrum of investigations in their evaluation of a home, based on technical, measurable standards, including
  • exposures to chemicals, both as shorter term gasses in the air (VOC's) as well as longer term molecules that attach to house dust (SVOC's).
  • building and finishing materials made of natural, renewable, biodegradable resources, which are considered more compatible with the human body
  • exposures to microorganisms, including mold and bacteria, and other micro air pollutants such as dust, dander, and other particles
  • thermal and moisture conditions
  • electromagnetic fields, both manmade and natural
  • radiation from various sources natural and manmade.
A certified Bau-Biologie inspector looks at all of these concerns and makes recommendations on how to change conditions in a home to optimize all these factors for good health.

Anderson Laboratories
If you suspect that an item in your home is releasing dangerous chemicals into the air and making you sick, they can test that item and tell you whether the item is releasing toxic chemicals. They put your sample into a glass chamber and collect the chemicals it releases. Then laboratory mice are given the air from that chamber (containing the pollutants from your item) to breathe and ill effects (on eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and nervous system) from breathing that air are noted. This test does not identify the toxic chemicals, but does determine they are toxic. Identification of toxic elements can also be done as a separate test. "We have used this test with paints, cleaning agents, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, carpets, mattresses, mattress covers, toys, diapers, marking pens, air fresheners, fragrance products..." These tests start at around $1000.

Green Building Supply
Do-it-yourself test kits for asbestos, caron monoxide, lead, mold, radon, water quality, and more.

Lead Check Swabs
Home test kit for lead.

Our Green House
Home test kits for lead paint, mold, and radon.

Mold Control


Concrobium Mold Control
A 100% natural, nontoxic product that allows you to control mold (in basements, bathrooms, kitchens), prevent mold growth after flooding or water damage, and pretreat building materials to prevent mold growth. Contains no bleach, ammonia, acids or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), works by encapsulating and then physically surrounding the underlying mold, inhibiting its growth. Website has good links to mold control info.

Smoke Detectors


Environmental Home Center
Radiation-free smoke detector.

Natural Energy Works
Photoelectric smoke detectors.

Vacuum Cleaners (High-efficiency)



Allergy Buyers Club
Excellent comparison chart of vacuum cleaners--all sealed with true HEPA filters. All the vacuum cleaners they carry have been personally tested by the staff and chosen to be suitable for people with allergies. Knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives can help you choose the vacuum that best fits your needs.

The Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Vacuums
A list of over 150 high performance vacuum cleaners that have passed stringent testing which measures soil removal, dust containment, and carpet appearance retention. Certified vacuums include backpacks, canisters, central systems, and uprights. Individual models may or may not contain high-efficiency HEPA filters.

State Vacuum
"The World's Largest Vacuum Cleaner Store -- The Vacuum Cleaner Experts for Over 57 Years!" Since this store happened to be right across Tampa Bay from my house, I went there when I was looking for a vacuum cleaner. They have every kind of vacuum I could think of and helped me choose the best one for my needs. They are very friendly and knowledgeable about vacuums.


I tried to define the physical boundaries of the body and began to realize they are virtually undefinable, for the air around any air-breathing creature from a weed to a whale is obviously a vital part of it even while it is also part of other creatures. The atmosphere in fact binds together all life on Earth...It is plain to see we all breathe the same sky...it pours through our lungs and blood in a few minutes, then out again to mix and refresh itself in the earth.
--Guy Murchie

For more quotes like this, sign up for daily delivery of my free Words of Wisdom newsletter.


Really Green

Learn how to tell the difference between products with real environmental and health benefits from those with misleading green hype, in my new book Really Green

Legend
Gold Star = gold star

Earthwise = earthwise
These smoke detectors are rated earthwise because they do not contain radioactive materials. The primary danger is an environmental release from manufacture and shipping.

Natural = natural

nontoxic = nontoxic

fair trade = fair trade
All indoor air quality products and test kits are rated nontoxic, as they contribute to reducing toxic exposures in the air.

caters to MCS = caters to MCS

associates = associate


Brand Name Product

= Business Sponsor



Bau-Biologie (Building Biology)

Keep Cool Naturally

Commercial Ozone Generator for Paint Fumes?

Cleaning up lamp oil spill

imtek deodorizing bulb

CZ Infrared Portable Quartz Heaters

Genesis Air Photocatalysis

Metal leaching in electric space heaters?

Is this house still outgassing?

fragrances in potential new home

New bedroom furniture has a strong odor and pregnant!

Java Logs Safety for MCS

Safety of propane furnace

Fresh Wave Natural Odor Neutralizer - Super Gel

Safe INDOOR mosquito removal?

offgas regular paint HEATER ?

Packets of Damp Rid

Corian

Xygen Air: Is it a safe way to clean air in home?

Air conditioning

Indoor air: Heat & Carpet

Plug-in air fresheners

Air conditioning and indoor air quality

Outgassing from Window Replacement--How to Remediate

Solutions for ridding home of oil smell

Unhealthy to live in an apartment over a carport?

moms toxic house

flexible duct

Question about odor removal

Window Unit Air Conditioners

Please don't use air fresheners and scented candles

I Turned Off EMFs In My House

Illness from ozone air purifier

Ventilation Options

school air

Ground floor vs. second floor apartment

new carpeting nightmare

new sofa and coffee table

EL Foust Air Filters for Chemical Odors?

Refinished Hardwood Floors

Scientists Warn of EMF Dangers

Wireless Internet (WiFi) in the home

Rice Cooker as a Humidifier?

Sensitivity to Plastic

Humidifier for Dry Winter Indoor Air

shutting out fumes

Indoor Humidity Levels Too High?

Fevers when heater runs

Personal air filters

The new EdenPure Gen3 Quartz Infrared Portable Heater

Natural gas leak warning

EMF and cable television

What is the best way to deal with oil based paint off gassing with cupboards?

Cellphone towers on apartment building

Best gaussmeter?

EMF & Off-Gassing in TV's

Is 3-Years-New TOO New to be Non-Toxic?

Indoor Air Quality and Pesticide Application

PVC pipe in furnace

Need Air Purifier Advice

Healthy Air Filter for Holmes Window Fan

Ridding house of plug in air freshener odor

timber floors and mould

How do I air out/out gas a new electric oven?

airing out guitar body

Outgassing odor of bedroom set

fresh air with air conditioner?

How to find EMF-safe location to move to

PVC air ducts

Household pollutant test kits

Stopping carpet outgassing with an Ozone machine

Car smell after engine steam cleaning

Air Conditioner Alternatives

air filters

Elevators and EMFs

Low EMF Stovetop

Mycotoxins- how long do they last?

Smoke damage

Gas heat

Removing Cigarette Smoke from a Home to be Occupied by People with MCS

Is it possible to make a gas stove safe?

Wein Personal Air Purifier

removing chemicals from sheetrock

epoxy in fish tnk

ultraviolet vacuums

Firewood smell

Greentek air purifiers

Activated Carbon Blankets

humidifiers

Sleep Study and EMF

Toxic Accident Needs Cleanup

Avoiding EMF

New toxic office

EMF risks with wireless alarm systems, etc.

toxic carpet at church

How to neutralize cigarette smoke in a computer

Yurt cover fabric

What do I do with my toxic house?

Cork Flooring vs. Carpet vs. Area Rugs

What to do before moving into a brand new house?

inkjet printers

Help Removing Musty Odor From Fireplace

ventilating a closed room

ceiling fans and dehumidifiers

Watch Batteries

door & window seals, alternative to vinyl stripping?

urethane foam in upholstered furniture

plaster and walls

Carpet outgassing

Neutralizing a toxic apartment

Benefits of

Dangers of Burning Wood in Fireplace

Vinyl windows question

Car air purifiers

Humidifier filter replacement

leather couch offgassing

How long does paint outgas?

AFM wood floor finishes

Removing Fragrance From Houses

Neighborhood Toxic Fireplace & BBQ Smoke: Any Recourse?

healthy relative humidity in house?

Fiberglass Insulation Problem

Good Air Filters?

Space Heater Recommendations?

Vacuum recommendation

Ceiling fans

Zeolite Breather Bags

Allergy-free air fresheners and candles

Formaldehyde Absorbers

EMFs from Satellite Dishes

Houseplants for Clean Air

Electric Blanket and EMFs

Safe Distance From Electrical Transformer

Electromagnetic exposure from sonic toothbrush

Where Can I Find a Gaussmeter?

Air Duct Cleaning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning



Read about how indoor air pollution can affect your health and what you can do, beginning on page 47



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