We get it. All the talk of chemicals, and unclear labeling and unclear regulations can all sound a little scary.
But we definitely don’t want you to just throw your hands in the air and give up. Making your house healthier doesn’t have to be overwhelming. So occasionally we’ll highlight a very easy action you can take, right now, that can have a huge impact on the level of toxins in your home.
For today’s tip, take a look at these pictures. Yes, this is a brand new rug, ordered from overstock.com and delivered to my door the other day. And yes, it’s currently lying in my garage.
Remember when we used to like the new rug smell (or new car smell, new Barbie townhouse smell, new chair smell) because it meant that something was… new?
Yeah, that’s not good. We need to retrain ourselve, because that smell means that there are chemicals in that product. And those chemicals are off-gassing.
The chemicals used in the manufacturing process of household items don’t just stay in those products, they are released into the air as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). And VOCs have been associated with over 180 diseases.
The release of chemicals from a product is at its highest rate and concentration just after manufacturing, then gradually decreases over time. So when a product is made (say, for example, an area rug), immediately wrapped tightly in plastic, then unwrapped in your house, the worst of all those VOCs have just flooded into your interior environment, where they’re now trapped inside by your energy efficient house.
So yes, that rug is in my garage, where I unrolled it from the plastic, airing out for a couple of days.
And you should do the same thing. Anytime you buy something new for your home, let it off-gas in your garage for at least a couple of days before you bring it inside and start using it. The air inside your house will thank you!