As a parent of a newborn, there’s nothing in the world more important than the health of your infant, so what would you do if we told you that your nursery could contain hundreds of potentially dangerous chemicals? That’s a pretty scary thought, right?
According to ABC News, “Good Morning America” conducted an investigation in 2012 to determine the levels of indoor air pollution present in a nursery and found 300 different kinds of chemicals after just seven days of testing.
“The rocker in the nursery contained seven times California’s recommended level of formaldehyde, a chemical known to cause cancer. The crib mattress gave off more than 100 different chemicals, including industrial solvents and alcohols. Meanwhile, the paint used on the nursery’s walls contained chemical gases at five times the recommended limit,” reported the source.
Scientific American reports that children sleeping in rooms that have fumes from water-based paints and solvents are as much as four times more likely to have allergies or asthma. The University of Texas at Austin has published a report about the potential health risks from VOCs in crib mattresses. Skin irritations in newborns have been linked to environmental triggers during pregnancy that can play a role in the development of skin manifestations during the first year of life.
While this information is undoubtedly scary to any new or expecting parent, the good news is that there are effective ways to reduce your baby’s exposure to chemicals, such as the following:
- Planning ahead – You’ll want to get your baby’s nursery set up well before he or she is due. As ABC News explains, “chemical emissions are at their highest when a product is brand new,” so this will give you a chance to leave the windows open and let some of those chemicals dissipate.
- Avoiding pressed wood products – Pressed wood – a type of material commonly used to make furniture – contains formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer in both humans and laboratory animals.
- Paying close attention to labels – Keep an eye out for certified products (Greenguard, Scientific Certification Systems, etc.) that guarantee low odors or low chemical emissions.
- Using low-VOC paint – There are certain paints you can buy that have a lower concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Pregnancy.org recommends looking for Green Seal-certified paints specifically.
- Conducting regular AC Duct Cleaning– This process has been proven to reduce concentrations of indoor air pollution and destroy more than 99% of airborne bacteria and viruses. By disinfecting your ducts you can gain peace of mind knowing that his or her exposure to harmful pathogens and VOCs will be significantly reduced.
AC Duct Cleaning can a stepping stone to a Healthy Home
Children are more sensitive to chemicals in the air than adults, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, which is why it is important to find effective strategies to reduce the amount of indoor air pollution in the places that matter most to us – our homes. While being a conscientious consumer with regards to nursery furniture, paint, carpet, etc. is important in decreasing VOCs, it’s difficult to fully remove them from your child’s environment. This is why ac duct cleaning can be a powerful tool for healthy homes.