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5 Common Airborne Toxins And How To Avoid Them

published 07 November 2018

By now you probably know that indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. Common household products, furniture and tools contain thousands of dangerous chemical toxins that we breath in on the daily. As a result, many health-related problems can be attributed to breathing in indoor pollution.

From immune disorders to chronic fatigue syndrome and breathing problems, families today are at serious health risks. Long-term exposure to these following common airborne toxins pose a serious health issue worldwide.

Here are 5 common toxins you should avoid:

1.Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)

A group of toxic chemicals that vapourize into gas pollutants. There are more than 400 types of VOC’s and they can be commonly found indoors from the following products: carpets, home furnishings, industrial paints, plywood, plastics, deodorants, and shampoos. These are just some, but VOC’s can be found in numerous household products.

Common symptoms from prolonged exposure include:

  • Respiratory (breathing) irritation

  • Eye irritation

  • Dizziness

  • Memory impairment

  • Central Nervous System damage

  • Asthma in young children

  • Risk of liver and kidney cancer

How to avoid VOC’s

When buying products, look for “Low-VOC” and “Zero-VOC” paints and finishes for indoor painting. Avoid smoking in your home and consider buying antique furniture as new ones are usually fresh with chemicals from factories and warehouses.

Let new products and furniture ‘breath-in’ before setting them in your home. When bringing a new piece of furniture back, tear the plastic wrappings and let them sit outside for a few hours before bringing them indoors.


Pesticides are chemicals used on many foods to control for bugs and pests. Unfortunately, they are also cancer-causing carcinogens that are commonly found in 50-95% of U.S. foods. These includes fruits, vegetables and commercially-raised meats.

Common symptoms of ingesting pesticides include:

  • Eye, nose, throat irritation

  • Central Nervous System damage

  • Increased risk of cancer

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Miscarriage

  • Birth defects

  • Blocked absorption of nutrients

How to avoid pesticides

Avoid bringing shoes into your home. This is the simplest way to keep pesticides outside your home.

Most importantly, try to buy fresh, organic produce. Alternatively, you can try to grow your own vegetables in your garden, keeping in mind to use safe, organic materials.

3.Moulds and Fungi

Moulds and fungi grow in damp, dark areas with frequent temperature changes (like air conditioners and refrigerators). As they grow, moulds emit a gas called microbial volatile organic compounds. Breathing in only a small amount over a short period can can cause a range of health problems.

Some common symptoms may include:

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Nasal irritation

  • Coughing and weezing

  • Eye and skin irritation

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Cause asthma attacks to those allergic to mould

How to avoid moulds and fungi

Fix water leaks and avoid keeping wet items in rooms. Keep common household items dry and remove water sources near common areas such as cabinets, wardrobes, and shelves.

4.PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVCs contain phthalates. There are many phthalates with many uses, with just as many toxicological properties. These chemicals are used primarily to lengthen the life of fragrances and soften plastics. Phthalates can be found in common plastic bottles, containers, baby’s toys, cosmetics and shower curtains.

Common symptoms when consuming leached plastics on food include:

  • Endocrine system damage

How to avoid PVC and phthalates

Ensure baby products are labelled ‘phthalate-free’. Do the same with plastic products – ask if they contain PVC or phthalates. For draperies such as curtains and blinds, look for those that are PVC-free. Opt for natural fibres such as linen, silk, bamboo and hemp instead. Importantly, remember not to eat food stored or microwaved in PVC plastic.


Chloroform is formed when chlorine mixes with water. It becomes a health risk when chlorine mixes with organic matter in drinking water.

Common symptoms of exposure to chloroform include:

  • Cancer

  • Risk of reproductive damage

  • Birth Defects

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Liver and Kidney Damage

  • Dizziness

How to avoid chloroform

Reduce the temperature of your shower water and install low-pressure showerheads. Ensure your window is open or ventilation is on to reduce breathing in chloroform. Relocate your washing area and laundry to an area with good ventilation.

The nature of many household products’ chemicals, combined with dust build-up in the home can mean your very home is posing a health risk to you and your family.

Fortunately, the HYLA Instafresh Air - water based filtration air cleaner effectively gets rid of air pollution in the home. It leaves your home fresh, and free from indoor air pollution. Find out more at


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