Indoor Pollution 101
The chemical industry has expanded hugely since World War II and, with consumers always hungry for new products, innumerable strong chemicals have entered our homes and daily routines during the last 50 years.
Unfortunately homemakers don't always realize that products might be hazardous. We may be a little too relaxed about following manufacturer's instructions. When is the last time you opened windows and doors before using a chlorine-containing cleaner? And doesn't opening windows and doors conflict with your need to save energy costs? Surely we shouldn't be letting cooled or heated air escape. In fact, new home construction has for decades been trying to seal up homes, preventing fresh-air circulation.
When you finish using a strong cleaning product, do you remember to clean the container mouth and seal it back to as air-tight a condition as possible? Maybe not always. Have you ever sat back and tried to count every chemical product stored somewhere in your house? What about those products at the back of the top shelves? You know, the ones that have been sitting there for a few years.
Well, what emerges here is the modern equation for indoor air pollution: More hazardous chemicals in the home, plus less ventilation, equals more acute and chronic family exposure to chemicals.