When you’re expecting, it can be both an exciting time and a stressful time. You’ll likely spend hours creating the perfect nursery, complete with new décor and furniture. But what about the air your baby breathes?
Newborn babies typically take 30 to 60 breaths per minute. This rate decreases during rest and continues to gradually decrease as babies grow. At about six months, babies take 25 to 40 breaths per minute. In comparison, an adult takes 12 to 20 breaths per minute. These differences are due to the size and capacity of babies’ lungs and the development of their respiratory systems.
But these statistics are most important when considering facts regarding indoor air pollution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), concentrations of some pollutants can be found in quantities 2-5x higher indoors than outdoors.
For our littlest ones, this is especially concerning due to the development of their immune systems and defense mechanisms. Damage at the cellular level is more difficult to repair as the respiratory, neurological and immune systems rapidly develop. Additionally, children breathe 50 percent more air per pound of body weight than adults. Therefore, the fact is, babies face a greater health risk from indoor air pollution than adults.
Pollution Inside Your Home
Indoor air pollution originates from a variety of sources throughout your home. They come from kitchen appliances, cleaning products, new furniture, rugs, floor adhesives, paint, pets, smokers, and more.
Your baby’s nursery is likely filled with harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other airborne pollutants, especially if – like most parents – you’ve recently renovated the room. New paint, furniture, rugs and decorations may appear clean, but the installation introduces new chemicals and pollutants into the air. Rug adhesives and paint release especially harmful pollutants, which continue to leak into the air over time through a process called “off-gassing.” Our previous blog post explains more about this.
Steps to Decrease Indoor Air Pollution
The good news is that there are steps you can take today to start decreasing indoor air pollution. These include:
- Open your windows when using the stove or oven.
- Avoid cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals.
- Remove carpeting and rugs that easily trap dust, pet dander and mold.
- Vacuum regularly to remove dust and dander.
- Keep humidity levels below 60% (ideally 30-50%) to avoid mold growth.
- No smoking!
Although these steps are helpful and will improve the quality of your indoor air, pollution levels may still be harmful for your little ones.
Your Best Defense: HEPA H13
As your best defense against indoor air pollutants and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), we recommend a HEPA H13 air purifier. This is medical grade quality and removes 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in diameter, which includes pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and more. HEPA H13 filters are superior to both True HEPA and HEPA Type filters, as the web of fibers is more compact and better able to remove airborne particles. In addition, activated carbon filters will trap and remove odors, leaving your nursery air fresh and clean. Shop our spring sale and receive free shipping on our website! Sign up for our mailing list and receive an additional 10% off your order.