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Your thoughts on air quality at home?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Chieftain, May 14, 2017.

  1. Chieftain


    Happy Mother's Day <3,

    I'm doing some personal research on air quality to straighten some of my own health kinks, and I was wondering if I could have your thoughts on the interplay between air quality at home, and health/productivity. Here are some questions I have:

    How important is good air quality (defined by me as: a LACK of atmospheric toxins/pollutants as well as the PRESENCE of fresh air) and breathing, to you: how does air quality affect your day-to-day life in terms of health and productivity?

    What is your biggest problem when it comes to indoor air quality?

    How do you guys currently deal with these issues?

    If you could even answer a few of these questions, you would greatly inform my quest so that I can protect myself and those I love from harmful airborne toxins in my home.
    Jennifer J likes this.
  2. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

    I'm not clear why you would think that people here with ME could be helpful in understanding health kinks.

    Regardless of air quality we'd all still be ill. Having better air quality no doubt will make many of us 'feel' better and may well impact people with Multiple Chemical sensitivities.

    The effects of air quality are difficult to detect and any consequences of poor air would take a long time to manifest (unless the air is acutely toxic).

    Having said that I have an excellent Guardian air purifier (HEPA and UV) at home which I run for various reasons but mostly because I share ventilation with the basement tenants who smoke.

    The air is cleaner but I am not any more well as a result.
    Chieftain, justy and Valentijn like this.
  3. belize44

    belize44 Senior Member

    Well, about 15 years ago I lived in a high rise building for seniors and disabled people. My first winter there was awful because there were smokers living there and their smoke would come into my apartment. Since it was below zero outside I couldn't open the window and I came down with severe bronchitis and pneumonia. Now I live in a different building and always have a window open whenever I can rather than be sealed up inside unless it is very cold. We used to have neighbors who used a great deal of scented laundry products and we couldn't have windows open whenever they were doing laundry unless we put a fan facing outward in the front window and opened a rear window to vent in fresh air. They moved away and we get lots of fresh air now!

    My biggest problem with indoor air quality is household dust and cat dander, since I can't vacuum and clean as much as I would like to. If I come in contact with the dust directly I itch and get raised red areas on my skin.

    Hope that helps!
    Chieftain, MeSci and Jennifer J like this.
  4. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    I keep windows open as much as possible. Air rooms even in the winter. My husbands laughs and says he feels sorry for the dust mites. I use the ventilator around the windows

    Use an electric fan at nights.

    Non-scented or sensitive products for cleaning (I have a cleaner as cannot do this myself)

    Keep surfaces as dust free as I can. Particularly around the bed.

    Clean all bedding regularly. Air pillows and quilts in fresh air / sunlight if any

    Vacuum clean the surface of the mattress

    Don't buy new furnishings very often. Try and buy second hand but not too old if possible.

    Throw away paper. Don't keep many books

    Don't redecorate and if needed due to a disaster plan to do the best for allergies and intolerances.

    Buy clothes from a known source i.e. the same companies

    Be careful of mould
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  5. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

    Air Quality is crucial for me and I have a Blue Air Hepa Filter in my living room and bedroom and also a special filter that our bldg puts into the A/C unit for me every three months. I purchase it and they install it for me. After unknowingly living with toxic levels of mold for three years in our prior rental, and developing extreme MCAS and anaphylaxis reactions in 2015, I will never risk a scenario like this occurring again (or at least do all that I can to reduce it)! I can add the exact names of my Hepa Filters and A/C filters if it would be helpful for anyone.
    SueJohnPat, Chieftain, Dainty and 3 others like this.
  6. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

    That must be how you get all that cleaning etc done for you - why didn't I think of that? ;):)
    Chieftain, Dainty, belize44 and 2 others like this.
  7. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

    I use a HEPA air purifier in my bedroom and allergy filters all through the house. Something I like about the HEPA purifier is that it creates a nice white noise that helps me sleep.
    Valentijn, Chieftain and Gingergrrl like this.
  8. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

    Vancouver, British Columbia
    I keep my bedroom window open most of the year round. Even when it was -11 C I still had the window open. Once the warmer spring weather shows up I have both bedroom windows open. Once the weather is hotter most of the upstairs windows will be open and both doors. The only down side to having the doors open is that the raccoons like to come in for a visit. :D
    Chieftain likes this.
  9. Belgiangirl


    Poor air quality i suffered a lot from since neighbours tend to burn all their waist producing very heavy and dark smoke, entering our newer house and having lived close to an industrial inox processing firm.

    - mucus thickening
    - mucus arriving in throat
    - mucus lining in mouth cavity and nose drying out and having very dry lips
    - feeling poisoned and malaise
    - pain in throat continously unlike typical throat pain from inflammation. This has caused me not been able to live just everywhere but I have to select where I move on the base of particular matter and industrial environments and how people will warm their house -> this throat pain i had for more than 4 years ... only after moving it went away
    - sinusitus
    - upper air way problems and infllamation more easily
    - irritated eyes
    - dried out skin

    You have to think when to open and close your windows: chose strategical moments, not when cars are driving around or neighbours are BBQing.
    NEVER use a vacuum cleaner!! This will agrevate any problem.
    Every strong chemical has to be avoided
    No odour candles, odour spraying products in strategic rooms, aroma spreaders or anything about this kind
    Watch humidity in the room
    Watch insulation (too much my cause humidity and mold problems, to little obviously temperature problems)

    I have an IQ air cleaner with a VOCs air filter and a HEPA filter which I put on all night in my bedroom.
  10. Chieftain


    Thank you all for sharing - it's fun to be part of an engaging discussion like this! Grateful to have your input.

    My turn to share:

    I use a neti pot regularly to clean out the gunk I'm breathing in, have a HEPA air purifier (Germguardian 4900) running all day, and have the windows at least slightly open - unless it's a bad day for pollen, then I keep it closed - air is complicated, isn't it? Ragweed is my mortal enemy.

    I also have an ultrasonic humidifier in which I put sea salt (got the idea from our beloved @Hip) that I run during the winter when I have to turn up the heat at home - this way I don't get too dried out, and the mist looks cool.

    Last but not least, don't forget the plants! I have some regular houseplants (emit oxygen during the day) but also some "night plants" like aloe vera, which emit oxygen during the night - you need to breathe well during sleep to recover well, after all!

    @Hip has some more write-ups on air quality/air purification, so check them out here:

    Where do you guys currently go to learn more about air - any recommendations? I want to become an expert.
    Belgiangirl likes this.
  11. Belgiangirl


    Just reading the literature and searching the internet, being part of environmental groups I guess?
    Also look on environmental health and then inhouse climate or inhouse polluents and stuff. In my country we finally have agencies being put up to inform the population. But believe me no one here uses air purifiers why the air in Belgium is one of the worst in Europe in terms of fine particular matter as we are a diesel ridden country...

    Also interesting is your insulation and what you put on your walls (dont know how to say that in english :-/).
    Walls of modern building are always made of ... ??
    They used to be made of natural materials like clay, straw mixtures etcetera, these houses can breathe on their own and are said to have a far nicer in house climate.
    You an also "put clay" on the inside of your house. Check interior design homing shops working with natural / ecological materials to get informed.

    Also pay attention with OSB plates (scrapped wood pressed)/timber frame houses, gyproc and cheap furniture or chinese stuff.

    Plants I also have of course, you can again search the internet to notice which one do clean the air more than others. Air cleaning plants are popular this days so not hard to find.

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