We do approximately a million and one things in our homes, and a lot of them consistently ding our air quality. Cooking on the stovetop, doing laundry, using conventional cleaning products, burning candles—it all adds up to indoor air that is, depending on where you live, more polluted than the air outside.
Indoor toxins can cause physical irritation (think itchy throat, watery eyes, and headaches) in some people but not others, which can make it hard to pinpoint how clean or dirty your air actually is.
What kind of air pollutants should I be concerned about? What can I do to keep them out of my home? Do I need to buy an expensive air filter for every room? Here at mbg, we field these questions a lot—and wonder about them ourselves!—so I took the liberty of reaching out to an expert for some answers.
Shelly Miller, Ph.D., is a professor in the Environmental Engineering Program at U.C.-Boulder who specializes in air pollution and is currently researching the relationship between respiratory health and the home environment. Here, she breaks down what you need to know to breathe easier.