“The Survey Says!”

A survey conducted by The American Lung Association (ALA) & Seventh Generation, a household and personal care products company found that 68 percent of Americans are unaware of the potential health risks associated with poor indoor air quality.  “Many Americans may be surprised that indoor air quality (IAQ) can harm their family’s health,” said ALA Assistant Vice President of National Policy Janice Nolan.  “However, people can take some simple steps to improve indoor air quality that can have a big impact on the health and well-being of their families.”

As part of their consumer education initiative, Seventh Generation and the ALA are working to teach consumers about volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Common Sources of VOCs in the home include tobacco smoke, paint, air fresheners, car exhaust in an attached garage and pesticides.  To improve indoor air quality and prevent VOCs from entering the air, the Lung Association and Seventh Generation are advising consumers to do the following:

  • Declare the home a smoke-free zone
  • Keep humidity levels under 50 percent by using a dehumidifier or air conditioner, as needed.
  • Fix all leaks and drips in the home to avoid the growth of mold and other pollutants resulting from standing water.
  • Make sure work areas are well ventilated when doing home improvement projects.
  • Look for products made with low or no VOCs.
  • Test the home for radon.
  • Look for cleaning products that do not contain or have reduced amounts of ingredients such as ammonia, fragrances and flammable ingredients.

The survey also found:

  • Over half of Americans (57%) are likely to change their cleaning habits if minor changes could improve their IAQ.
  • 32% of respondents don’t consider the impact on their family’s health prior to purchasing a new cleaning product.
  • Americans believe dust and mites (85%), pet dander (75%) and cleaning supplies and household chemicals (71%) most negatively affect IAQ.
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