There are several other common sense things you can practice to minimize the potentially toxic effects of pollutants in your home. Chief among them is regularly opening windows (even just a crack) and if necessary, using fans to properly ventilate. Open two windows, or a window and a door to create cross-ventilation –the most effective way to reduce indoor pollution.
There are also a variety of houseplants like aloe vera, ferns, ficus, philodendron, and spider plants –to name a few– that are considered good natural air filters. These plants draw pollutants out of the air and replace them with oxygen. Just be aware that some house plants that are good at this can also be highly toxic to pets –cats and dogs—so if you have house pets be very careful which of these you choose to use and keep them well out of reach of Spotty or Fido!
Another overlooked area is remembering to take your shoes off before or upon entering your home. I’ve always wondered why people continue to wear their shoes on in the house. It’s one thing if you’re getting ready to go out but an entirely different thing if you’ve just entered your house from outside! That’s because you can easily track lawn fertilizer and pesticides and bring them inside with you and (obviously) not even know it. Depending on where you live, this can be a real issue. Folks who live in the suburbs where people routinely use lawn fertilizer and garden pesticides are especially susceptible to this hazard. But even city folk can unwittingly pick up traces of toxins on their shoes. It’s best to establish a policy whereby you or anyone entering your home removes and leaves their shoes at the entrance –a custom that’s widely practiced in Japan.
And last but not least, whenever you bring something into your home that you know has a chemical coating or finish like a new appliance, tools, or outdoor plastic equipment or furniture –leave it outside or in a very well ventilated area for several days to out gas before bringing it inside. If you’re not sure, then err on the side of being safe than sorry. The same holds true for clothes you bring home from the dry cleaners –remove the plastic and let them air out completely before hanging them up in your closet.