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A Nursery’s Invisible Dangers

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Good Morning America with the help Greenguard Environmental set out to investigate air pollution in the average American home. They expected worrisome results, but  what they found was far more shocking than anyone could have predicted.

In this 2012 scary experiment they set up a nursery including decorations and a brand new crib, rocker and changing table. The researchers then monitored air quality in the room for the next seven days. The results were alarming. The air in the new nursery hosted more than 300 unique chemicals. For comparison’s sake the researchers also tested the air immediately outside the home. The external air contained only two unique chemicals.

The fact that there was a difference is not surprising. The EPA has warned us for years that indoor air is often much more polluted than outdoor air. Nevertheless no one could have expected the difference to be this dramatic. In this particular case what is especially frightening is the level of toxins in a room intended for a child.

Children are especially susceptible to air pollution. They don’t have the immune system to defend against it. Compared to an adult they take in much more air proportionate to their body size. So where did all this pollution come from? After testing the new furniture was the clear culprit. The biggest offender was the mattress which accounted for more than 100 of the chemicals that were present in the home. These chemicals included alcohols and industrial solvents. Another significant offender was the rocker which emitted seven times the formaldehyde deemed safe by the state of California. Even the new paint on the walls was emitting gases five times beyond the recommended limit.

This was a nightmare scenario for parents. The products seem safe. They met all state and federal standards. Yet they emit enough impurities to cause serious harm to a young child. This is particularly dangerous in a nursery because infants have a much higher metabolic rate than adults do.

  • Paint
  • In a nursery, always opt for a paint with no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

  • Wallpaper
  • Avoid vinyl wallpaper and use paper-based and natural fibers instead. Like paint and vinyl can off-gas VOCs. Vinyl can also trap moisture which could encourage mold growth.

  • Furniture
  • Furniture made of particleboard, plywood and pressed wood can also emit harmful substances and may contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has been associated with a wide range of breathing problems as well as eye, ear, nose and throat irritations.

  • Floors
  • Do not use synthetic carpets which can emit VOCs for many years. Instead, opt for hardwood floors or rugs made from natural fibers.

  • Clean
  • Clean daily to ensure minimal levels of dustdust mites, pet danderpollen, and any chemicals that may be present in the room. Perform a thorough cleaning at least once per week.

  • Vacuum
  • Always vacuum after dusting. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to ensure that the dust is removed and not redistributed. Carpets and rugs should be vacuumed daily, and once per week rugs should be taken outdoors and shook out.

  • HEPA
  • Add air filtration to the baby's room by using a high-quality HEPA air purifier. HEPA filtration is the most effective on the market, and it removes 99.97 percent of all airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in size including dust, dander, mold spores and microorganisms.

    Clean Air Plus specializes in superior HEPA air purifiers for the home. For nurseries, Clean Air Plus recommends a quality built HEPA air purifier with an activated carbon filter to remove airborne particles and harmful VOC's from the air in your baby's nursery.

     

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