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Indoor Air Quality

Simple actions that an individual or household can take to reduce their exposure to indoor air pollution:

  • Use non-chemical methods of pest control where possible. Odourless does not mean chemical-free.
  • If you are a smoker, do not smoke inside. If you are a non-smoker, do not allow smoking in your house and car
  • Keep yourself and your children away from places where smoking is allowed
  • Ensure your home is adequately ventilated. In buildings located near heavy traffic or other major outdoor sources of pollution, try to open windows or other inlets for fresh air on the least polluted side of the building. Ventilating rooms regularly will also help reduce dampness.
  • Fix water leaks, seepage and accumulation problems immediately. Make sure rain water drains away from your house to reduce damp.
  • Reduce your use of candles, air fresheners, insect repellents and other aerosols/sprays
  • Vacuum and clean your carpets regularly with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter (high-efficiency particulate air filter) or bag. Keep it well maintained and change its filters frequently.
  • Strictly follow all service and maintenance procedures recommended by the manufacturer if you use wood-burning fireplaces. Furnaces, flues, and chimneys should be of the recommended height and inspected regularly for blockages, cracks or damaged parts repaired. 
  • Change the filter on and service your air conditioner as instructed by the manufacturer, and only turn on your car air conditioner after having ventilated the air in your car
  • Install and use exhaust fans over gas cooking stoves and keep the burners clean and properly adjusted
  • Do not leave your car idling inside enclosed areas e.g. garages
  • Make sure that air mixture between living areas and attached garages is limited
  • Use environmentally-safe paints, hobby and cleaning products whenever possible. Preferably use water based, solvent free products.
  • Avoid using aerosol sprays  indoors e.g. when painting
  • Use household and hobby products according to manufacturer's directions. Meet or exceed any label precautions. For example, if a label says to use the product in a well-ventilated area, go outdoors or open up windows to provide the maximum amount of outdoor air possible and use in moderation so as not to pollute your surroundings unnecessarily.
  • Apply finishes outside the home and wait until they are dry to bring finished items inside. Use environment-friendly finishes if possible, and use these in moderation.
  • Properly seal containers containing paints, fuels, cleaners and other chemicals to reduce evaporation. Do not store such containers inside.
  • If pesticides have to be used, follow manufacturer's directions accurately. Mix or dilute outdoors. Apply only in recommended quantities and respect protected and vulnerable species around you.
  • Increase ventilation and make sure children and pets are not present when using pesticides indoors
  • Use treated rooms only after the recommended period of time has elapsed