Find out how regular, everyday materials and products could be impacting your Delaware home.

In part one, we began our exploration of why a healthy indoor air quality is crucial and the elements that can impact it. In today’s post, we’ll venture further into indoor air quality disruptors and how they can blindside the health of your home at The Peninsula on The Indian River Bay.

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The Toxic Disruptors in Your Delaware Home

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) – MDF has been coined the ”asbestos of tomorrow.” When you’re shopping for wood flooring and other home furnishings, many times, MDF is the material in question. It looks like freshly cut wood, but in reality, it’s a series of recycled wood pressed together with chemical adhesives.

This strong and durable material was famed for it being harder than plywood and repellent to pests such as termites. The reason why it has come under such scrutiny is that the adhesives used off-gas formaldehyde. High exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to increased cancer risks, in addition to high levels of this compound causing irritations in the eyes, throat, skin, and nose.

Wood Treatments

Some woods are treated with chemicals that create creosotes compounds that are highly toxic and are known to cause cancer.

Other treatments involve arsenic as an insect repellant — not only can arsenic get into the groundwater and contaminate drinking water, but it is known to cause GI upset including bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

Pentachlorophenol is a wood preservative and can impair our immune system and affect our nervous system, liver, and kidneys.

Flame Retardants

Flame retardants are often used in furniture and household manufacturing as a means to slow or stop the spread of flames in the case of a home fire. If these chemicals are exposed to heat (it doesn’t have to be a fire) such as being positioned in a sunny spot in your living room, this can trigger a toxin release that can enter our bodies through inhalation.

These chemicals can then cause hormone disruptions, adrenal and thyroid issues, and potential infertility and reproductive concerns.

Household Items That Contribute to a Toxic Indoor Air Quality

Materials are just one piece that affects your home’s indoor air quality — even the household products you use can impact the toxicity levels in your home.

Air Fresheners/Candles

One of the biggest culprits that affect your home’s indoor air quality and the toxic chemicals they emit are air fresheners and candles. What is being sprayed or burned, is diffusing into the air, only to be inhaled and absorbed directly into our bloodstreams.

Phthalates are a chemical often found in air fresheners and candles that disrupt our hormones and cause reproductive issues. It’s not to say that you can’t use scents in your home, but always ensure the source — a giant red flag are products that incorporate “natural fragrances” into their products.

Upholstery and Fabric Sprays

If you’re using a protection spray on your furniture, it creates an invisible, plastic barrier that can protect the material from spills, dirt, and stains — the only problem is, over time, it breaks down and the chemicals are released into your home.

A much better, healthier option is cleaning your furniture regularly or when the spill occurs.

Household Cleaning Products

These products are a sort of umbrella for the various cleaning supplies you use around the house and can range from disinfectant sprays and dish detergent, to glass and bathroom cleaner.

Many of these products have added scents because they’re not great smelling to begin with, and many times they’re synthetic fragrances that we breathe in while cleaning and can lead to a myriad of health issues such as headaches and nervous system disruptions.

Do these materials and products come as a surprise? It’s sometimes shocking how everyday items can be impacting our health. From paint and furniture to household cleaning products, they could be responsible for poor indoor air quality and affecting your health.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In the third and last post, we’ll dive into tangible ways in which you can clean up your indoor quality and create a home space that is a healthy refuge — stay tuned for part three!

We know your health is important to you, so why not invest in materials and products that support it? That’s exactly what will happen in our next post — you will not want to miss it!

If you’re not already a part of The Peninsula on The Indian River Bay community, now is your chance! Connect with us and invest in your new vacation or second home today!