How To Improve Pollution Effects

Air Purifiers

The New York Times has an artivle called "The Best Air Purifer" from early March of 2023. there they say, "a great air purifier one can improve your life by reducing airborne allergens such as pollen and mold spores and capturing bacteria, viruses, and smoke from wildfires and other sources" and "to qualify as great, however, an air purifier doesn’t just need to work well; it also needs to be robustly engineered and thoughtfully designed".

After the Wirecutter tested for nine years, during which they tested more than 50 different air purifiers, they believe that the exceptional Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty is the best among them.

Although they suggest that to be the best purifier, things to consider for yourself is:


NC State University says that "Some plants have the ability to assimilate, degrade, or modify toxic pollutants in air into less toxic ones." and "Plants to be used for air phytoremediation have the potential to reduce pollutants in air and improve air quality; they also fix carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and help to decrease greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."

Also, you need to be aware that some plants are not sutible for pets and children. And, if not properly cared for, plants can become the perfect home for mold.

ASPCA.org provided the list of plants and the information. They also give some tips to prevent mold; “An increase in plants can also affect humidity and promote mold growth. You can prevent this by letting the water drain into a pan or a tray, removing excess water regularly, and using sub-irrigation planters. Covering the top of the soil with Spanish moss or aquarium gravel also removes mold.”

Easy to care for plants:

Harder to care for plants:

Household Supplies

Did you know daily objects like cleaning supplies, glues, synthetic materials like plastic and rubber, using ovens, or even the carpets in our homes can all contribute to pollution?

To start, ASPCA.org mentions the easiest fixes would to make sure your home is vaccumed often and there is good ventilation. Some switches that may be harder for some are avoiding synthtic cleaners or air freshners and reducing the humidity in your home.

The EPA.gov "Exposure to mercury threatens our health, with many often irreversible toxic effects. Developing fetuses and young children are most at risk. Mercury pollution also harms wildlife and ecosystems."

EPA.gov also says mercury can be found in:

"Anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions include mercury that is released from fuels or raw materials, or from uses in products or industrial processes."

So, what do you do if you own an item containing mercury and you are ready to get rid of it? How can you recycle the item in a way it won't add to air pollution? EPA.gov also says, "Please recycle mercury-containing products rather than disposing of them in regular household trash. Recycling mercury-containing products is one of the best ways to help prevent mercury releases to the environment by keeping these products out of landfills and incinerators. Once landfilled, mercury from the products may end up in groundwater, and potentially in sources of drinking water. Once incinerated, mercury may end up in the air."

"Many states and local agencies have developed collection/exchange programs for mercury-containing devices such as thermometers, manometers, and thermostats. Some counties and cities also have household hazardous waste collection programs. For information about these programs, contact your local officials to find out when and where a collection will be held in your area."

Simple Supply Switches

It's funny that the same products we use disinfect surfaces also add to the air pollution in our homes. Even products that are labeled "green" or "natural" isn't perfect. American Lung Association says that "Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals that vaporize at room temperature. Even natural fragrances such as citrus can react to produce dangerous pollutants indoors."

VOCs and other chemicals released when using cleaning supplies contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions and headaches. Studies are underway to assess how these chemicals affect people who have asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Studies also link exposure to chemicals from cleaning supplies to occupational asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Cleaning supplies and household products containing VOCs and other toxic substances can include, but are not limited to:

*Never mix bleach or any bleach-containing product with any cleaner containing ammonia. The gases created from this combination can lead to chronic breathing problems and even death.

That's a lot to consider, and it is overwhelming for most to know if they have picked the best products. BetterGoods.org analyzed the ingridients in "non-toxic" cleaners, and some products conatied ingredients that they don't agree with. This is why you should always do further research than what is being advertised.

BetterGood.org also includes a list of reasons to switch to true, non-toxic cleaners:

Solutions other than switching cleaning supply brands:

Ingredients BetterGood.org are concerned about that have not been banned in the U.S.:

How BetterGood.org determined this:

Each ingredient in every product was researched and analyzed for safety based on available public research. Where possible, sources for information are included.

Products they suggest to use:

  1. Amazon.com
  2. Target.com
  3. Amazon.com
  4. Amazon.com
  5. TheThriveMarket.com
  6. ECOS.com
  7. ThriveMarket.com
  8. There are multiple more options listen on BetterGoods.org and all have a list of ingredients included.

American Lung Association suggests to "Read all labels on cleaning supplies and household products before you buy them. Choose products that do not contain or have reduced amounts of VOCs, fragrances, irritants and flammable ingredients. Avoid using air fresheners altogether."

Manufacturers are not obligated by U.S. law to list all ingredients in consumer products. Products that are labeled "green" do not necessarily mean they are safer. Do a little research on the product from a reliable source. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a list of products that meet its Safer Choice requirements for cleaning and other needs. The list includes cleaning products for home and vehicles.

As a safer cleaning alternative, warm water and soap often will do the trick, especially at home. Baking soda is good for scrubbing. A mix of vinegar and water can clean glass.

When using cleaning or household products, keep the area well ventilated. Open windows and doors. Never use cleaning products in a small, enclosed space.

Ground-Level Ozone & Smog

What can you do to protect yourself or your child from smog if you have asthma or allergies?

No switch will ever make it perfect, but WebMD suggests you can try: