Did you know that the air inside your home can be more polluted than the air outside? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, even in the most industrialized cities. How is this possible?

Well, it all comes down to what you bring into your home. Without even realizing it, you are contributing to the air pollution inside your home by using certain products. But it isn’t all bad news. You can improve indoor air quality by finding out what items contribute to indoor air pollution and making some easy changes to what you bring home. Here are four of the more surprising contributors to indoor air pollution.

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Candles

While burning a candle may make your house smell wonderful, doing so also brings about a ton of adverse effects to the indoor air quality. For example, paraffin candles — the ones typically produced by candle companies — can release high amounts of carcinogens into the air. Additionally, just the burning of a candle releases soot carbon particles into the air, leading to respiratory problems for certain people. If you love burning candles in your home, opt for a candle made from beeswax that has natural dyes and perfumes.

New Furniture

You may love the new desk you got a great price at a big-box store, but it could be emitting dangerous air pollutants into the air. Furniture made from particleboard or fiberboard is particularly harmful to your air quality, so make sure to ventilate your home if you bring in new furniture.

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Cleaning Products

Conventional cleaning products are chock-full of dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic chemicals (commonly known as VOCs). VOCs exacerbate allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems and are often found in aerosol sprays such as oven cleaners and furniture polish. This is why you should always opt for all-natural cleaning products. An even better option is to make your own cleaning products.

Air Fresheners

It’s understandable that you want your home to smell great, which is why air fresheners are a popular product on the market. But the truth is, these fresheners can often release toxic chemicals and contribute to ruining your home’s overall air quality. Most air fresheners contain a particularly harmful chemical called phthalates, which is a hormone disrupter for adults. It can also produce harmful side effects for babies and toddlers because their endocrine systems are still developing.

While indoor air can often be more polluted than outdoor air, there are easy ways to make sure your home has the cleanest air around. You simply need to pay attention to what you’re bringing into your home and make a few simple switches so that you aren’t contributing to poor air quality. In addition, consider investing in an air purifier that will remove any harmful bacteria or allergens from your air to make sure you’re breathing air that is as clean as possible.

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