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  4. Quiz: What Do You Know About Indoor Air Pollution?
  • Quiz: What Do You Know About Indoor Air Pollution?

    Test your home-health knowledge with this five-question quiz.

    Michele Cassalia, director of marketing for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, shares why indoor air quality is crucial to a healthy home and offers tips to help you clear the air.

    • You may have already heard the statistic that we spend 90 percent of our time indoors, or know that you should change your HVAC filter every three months for optimal performance—but just how air aware are you when it comes to pollution inside of your home? Pretend like you’re back in school and test your knowledge with this quick quiz—No. 2 pencils optional.


      1. Which plants not only help to brighten a room, but also improve indoor air quality?

      A. Weeping fig.
      B. English ivy.
      C. Chrysanthemums.
      D. All of the above.

      Answer: D. All of these natural detoxifiers can help cleanse your home’s air of chemicals, such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.

      2. What is the ideal humidity level inside a home?

      A. Below 30%.
      B. Between 30% and 50%.
      C. Between 50% and 70%.
      D. Above 70%.

      Answer: B. Humidity levels should be kept below 60 percent, ideally between 30-50 percent, to prevent mold-producing moisture. Not only is mold a main source of allergens and irritants, but it can eventually lead to structural damage in your home if left untreated. A dehumidifier or air conditioner can help.

      3. True or False: Second only to smoking, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

      Answer: True. Radon—a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas—seeps into homes through cracks in walls, floors and foundations. If radon levels reach 4.0 picocuries per liter of air or higher, mitigation should be done.

      4. True or False: Dust mites affect four out of five households.

      Answer: True. There are hundreds of thousands of dust mites in our homes, from mattresses to carpets to curtains, that feed on dead human skin cells and cause allergens with their fecal pellets and body fragments. How to reduce dust mites? They need moisture in the air to survive, so the most important step you can take to prevent dust mites is to reduce your home’s humidity. You should also vacuum and dust with a microfiber cloth often, and wash bedding weekly in 130 degree water.

      5. True or False: Candles are the best way to treat odors inside your home.

      Answer: False. Candles and household cleaners may be laced with harmful chemicals called volatile organic compounds, which can actually make indoor air pollution worse. It’s better to find the source of the odor, and properly clean it with all-natural supplies, such as baking soda, white vinegar, hot water and essential oils.