Category Archives: Clean

A Guide to Air Cleaners

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air-filter

Indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks that we experience in our lives.  Generally, the best way to resolve this issue is to find and eliminate the source of the issue.  However, in most cases, you won’t be able to pinpoint the issue, nor will you be able to eliminate it, so the best case, the most common way, is to get an air filter in your home.

Many of these devices can be installed in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit in your home if you have central air, and will require the changing of the air filters regularly.  However, if you don’t have this and installing one isn’t in the budget, there are many portable units that you can get that will filter the air in your home, without being a climate controlling device at the same time.  The downside to this, is that these units are not a whole-home solution.

Indoor Pollutants

This is from the EPA website:

Pollutants that can affect air quality in a home fall into the following categories:

  • Particulate matter includes dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, tobacco smoke, particles generated from combustion appliances such as cooking stoves, and particles associated with tiny organisms such as dust mites, molds, bacteria, and viruses.
  • Gaseous pollutants come from combustion processes. Sources include gas cooking stoves, vehicle exhaust, and tobacco smoke. They also come from building materials, furnishings, and the use of products such as adhesives, paints, varnishes, cleaning products, and pesticides.

Will a filter reverse the negative health effects of air pollution?

While it’s impossible to say that this will help in all situations, the main thing to keep in mind is that less air pollution, including dander, dust, pollen, smoke, etc. is never a bad thing.  Many websites will claim that a good air filter will be the end-all solution, and this simply isn’t the case.  You’ll want to consult a professional allergist, Pulmonologist, and HVAC serviceman in order to determine your how your results will vary.

 

Here’s how an air filter works:

A Buying Guide for Healthy Communities

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Keeping Oregon's Rivers Clean and Safe

Use this buying guide of resources to identify eco-certification labels and programs to protect public health and keep toxins out of Oregon’s rivers and streams.

• Design for the Environment—An EPA Partnership
Program
• EcoLogo™ Program
• GoodGuide

Use the information from the GoodGuide to find rankings of household products looking for higher environmental scores. A free Apple iOS app for mobile devices is available that will help you find safe, healthy, and sustainable products while you shop. You can browse, search or simply scan a barcode to see detailed ratings for health, environment and social responsibility for more than 70,000 products and companies.

GoodGuide provides information about personal care, household chemical, toy, food and paper products for free on your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, adding thousands of products every month. GoodGuide’s goal is to help people shop smarter and to motivate companies to offer even better products.

For electronic devices, including computers, monitors and laptops, you can find products registered as silver or gold standard by EPEAT (Electronic Products Environmental Tool), the definitive global registry for greener electronics.

• EPEAT inventory of certified products

For building products, the Pharos Project seeks to define a consumer-driven vision of truly green building materials and establish a method for evaluation using principles of environmental health and justice.

Available by subscription, the Pharos online database tools include the Building Product Library (BPL) and the Chemical and Material Library (CML). Each product in the BPL is scored on several environmental and health impact categories. Detailed product profiles include chemical and material ingredients, which are linked to their respective entries in the CML, with information on over 10,000 chemicals and materials.