Tips for healthy indoor air quality while hunkering down at homeApril 10, 2020
During the COVID-19 quarantine, people are spending even more time in their homes than usual. Make sure your home stays healthy as well!
The most important tips to stay healthy from COVID-19 and other illnesses are to practice routine hand-washing and household cleaning. It is also important to keep the air inside your home healthy while using cleaning products, especially for those with respiratory conditions that affect lungs or breathing such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Many cleaning products can have chemicals that can be respiratory triggers or irritants.
Tips for using cleaning products for healthy indoor air:
- DO use cleaning products in a well-ventilated area. Turn on bathroom fans or open windows and doors if possible.
- DO read and follow all product labels for instructions and precautions for appropriate use. Look for notes on wearing gloves or masks with product use. Note: If not diluted properly, bleach can result in toxic fumes.
- DO regularly disinfect frequently-touched objects or surfaces. These can include light switches, doorknobs, faucets, phones, remotes, electronic devices, appliance handles, bathrooms, kitchens, toys, etc.
- DO NOT spray cleaning products or chemical disinfectants on yourself or others. This is not effective. The most effective way to clean yourself is by using soap and water, and washing clothes.
- DO NOT spray cleaning products chemical disinfectants on masks. This is not effective and can lead to inhaling dangerous levels of toxic fumes.
- DO NOT use cleaners and disinfectants for other than their intended use.
- DO NOT mix cleaners together (example: bleach and ammonia); mixing can release dangerous toxic gases.
These tips will help your clean your home to prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses while keeping the air quality healthy as well. For other information about COVID-19, visit anthc.org/COVID19.
The ANTHC Tribal Air Quality Program wants to make sure you and your household stay healthy now and throughout the year.
Other tips for indoor air quality all year long:
- Keep all cleaners and chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Keep all forms of smoking outside.
- Burn only seasoned, dry wood indoors. Do not burn garbage, treated wood, or other items that may release toxic fumes.
- Make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have batteries and are functioning.
- Keep indoor humidity levels between 30-50 percent. Hygrometers can help you determine your home humidity. Too low and too high humidity levels increase bacteria, virus, and dust mite growth.
- Fix leaks and drips. Making these repairs can reduce moisture in your home and reduce mold.
- Consider purchasing a HEPA air cleaner or make your own. See instructions for making your own air cleaner on the ANTHC Air and Healthy Homes website: https://www.anthc.org/what-we-do/community-environment-and-health/healthy-homes.
- When possible, increase the fresh air in your home by opening windows or doors in rooms to dilute airborne pollutants.
- To Learn More on Indoor Air Quality for Rural Alaska: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPlWH40nvTA&t=57s
- ANTHC Air and Healthy Homes: https://www.anthc.org/what-we-do/community-environment-and-health/healthy-homes/
- Department of Health Bleach Recommendations: https://www.info.gov.hk/info/sars/en/useofbleach.htm
- EPA Indoor Air Quality: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq
- Tribal Healthy Homes Network: http://thhnw.org/resources/