Posted by: Green Knight | March 31, 2012

Indoor Air Quality

Underwriters Laboratories, the folks who certify safe electrical appliances around the home, do a lot more than that, and I’ll just quote what I got from them today, perhaps with a comment to be added later. Dig it, it’s useful info.


Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirms that indoor air is usually more polluted than outdoor air? That’s why UL  is working to help create safer living and working environments for all of us. 

Most of us are unaware that everything from nursery furniture and cleaning products to mattresses, paint, and even our flooring can pollute our indoor air and pose health risks. That’s because these and other products can off-gas, or emit harmful chemicals into the air, in potentially toxic quantities.

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, a division of UL Environment, works to protect human health and improve indoor air quality by testing products and materials submitted by manufacturers for low chemical emissions certification. Protect your family from invisible, indoor air quality dangers by Committing a Minute to Safety and taking the following actions in your home:

  • Unpack new furniture and let it air out in a well-ventilated, unoccupied space (not a garage) for at least one week before bringing into your living space
  • Use low-emitting paint for interior painting projects, and do your painting in the spring or fall when you can open windows for improved ventilation
  • Look for products bearing the GREENGUARD Certified mark, or simply check out the GREENGUARD Product Guide at to find low-emitting, healthier products for your home which bear the GREENGUARD Certified mark.

There, that wasn’t that hard, was it? Don’t forget that do-it-yourself projects can expose you and your pets and fellow humanoids to dangerous levels of lead from old paint, if you don’t know how to do it right, or even asbestos, not common in residential settings, but still there sometimes. Tons of potential exposures for those who are, as I like to say, concerned but not informed. There are other potential hazards, which is why I’m here to answer questions. Before you go altering your place, find out what NOT to do.



p.s. you should also take all your dry-cleaning, once you get it home, and take off the plastic sheaths and hang the stuff on a line outdoors, or in a room with plenty of ventilation, so the vapors from the perchloroethylene will dissipate to the outdoors instead of collecting in your house. Just another tip from non-Heloise.



  1. Thanks for the good tips there. Especially on identifying air pollution at it’s source to keep it from contamination your indoor air and keeping impurities to a minimum, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advocates as the most effective way to improve indoor air quality out of their three basic strategies to improving indoor air. (1) Source Control, (2) Improved Ventilation, which is another excellent approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutant, and (3) Air Filters to catch and remove pollutants from the local environment.
    For more helpful tips check out some of the blogs on this site:

    • Many people aren’t aware that the #1 cause of childhood asthma is cockroach parts. Even if you don’t have the damn bugs currently, if there used to be some years ago, as the little dead ones break down behind the walls, little bits of their exoskeletons get wafted around the air space and cause allergic reactions.

      Also, I’ve taught mold abatement for years, and helped write a textbook on it, and most people still think the problem is that awful “toxic black mold,” not realizing that there are thousands upon thousands of species, many of which are black, and all other colors. People are concerned but not informed, which can be a bad recipe.

      Thanks for the link!

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