This week it’s National Breathe Easy Week, an awareness campaign set up by the British Lung Foundation, aiming to help educate us on lung diseases and offer support to those affected.
The theme of this year’s Breathe Easy Week is breathlessness, a common symptom of a lung problem. 1 in 7 people are affected by lung disease, so catching the symptoms early is vital. It’s also worth looking at preventative measures to reduce your chances of a disease developing.
To help you keep your lungs in tip top condition, we’ve looked into ways to purify the air in your home with gadgets, plants and paints that don’t give off unhealthy fumes.
Air purifiers are built to remove allergens from your home, so things like dust, pet hair and smoke that will agitate us differently will be removed from the air helping you breathe easy. Smoke is the main one that can cause serious damage to our lungs. Passive smoke is one of the biggest causes of lung disease in the UK, so if you smoke or live with a person that smokes, maybe an air purifier is a worthwhile investment.
When shopping for an air purifier there are a few things to look out for:
- Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) – this is the maximum square footage recommended to filter the air for smoke, dust, pollen and other allergens that will be floating around a room.
- Look for Allergy UK approved purifiers for peace of mind that they will do a good job of making your air much cleaner.
- Some machines offer an air freshener as part of the purifier, but this can still irritate your lungs, especially if you are sensitive to air pollution.
- Purifiers need their filters changing regularly, so make sure whichever one you get, you stock up on filters and change them as recommended.
- They come in different sizes suitable for different sized rooms. Don’t spend a fortune on a massive purifier if it’s going to go into a cosy living room.
Allergy UK has a list of Air Purifiers that have their seal of approval, so it is worth shopping around here.
VOC Free Paint
VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. These VOCs contribute towards pollution in the air, which causes all sorts of respiratory issues, from breathing difficulties to lung diseases in extreme cases. VOCs are responsible for the light headaches and dizziness sometimes caused after decorating a room.
So, how do you combat this? There are regulations in place so paints have to contain far less VOCs than they used to. There are VOC free paints out there and although in some circumstances they are more expensive, it redresses the potential health issues and you can’t put a price on your health.
NaturePaint is one such paint that prides itself for having no VOCs. They have a good colour range, are an ethical company and they put their paint through rigorous tests on its colour intensity, coverage and fade resistance.
Plants, Ventilation & Cleaning
This is one of the simplest ways to add life to your home and help the purity of the air. Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. As humans, we do the opposite, therefore plants and humans have a great mutual relationship providing each other with vital air to live.
Now, you may not want a jungle indoors, but it is said some plants are better than others at purifying the air. A study by NASA found that English Ivy, Spider Plant, Peace Lily and Bamboo Palm are the best choices.
Ventilation is another vital part of making your home’s air that little bit clearer. Air can get stagnant in your home without ventilation, so crack open a window and reap the benefits of fresh air. Your home will smell nicer too as no smells can stop and linger.
Cleaning is an obvious one, dust is a massive contributor to poor air quality. Make sure you vacuum and dust regularly to prevent it upsetting your lungs. Good HouseKeeping reviewed a range of vacuums, so if you’re on the prowl for a new dust buster, have a read through this.
If you want to get involved in Breathe Easy Week, visit the British Lung Foundation website for more information.