Improve the quality of the air by lowering the pollution level.
Check into carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, fumes from a gas
stove pilot light, auto exhaust from an attached garage or nearby
highway, arsenic from household pesticide, PVC from new
plastic curtains or carpeting, formaldehyde from wearing new
clothing before washing it, asbestos from hair dryers, freon from
a refrigerator, fiberglass, and chlorine from running tap water.
Some of these displace oxygen, some are simply toxic to
the body and lungs. Clean up the air according to the general
principles of environmental cleanup (see Four Clean-ups, page
For the elderly pay special attention to chlorine in the air.
Shower water puts a lot of chlorine into the bathroom air which
then distributes itself through the rest of the house. Notice
whether your elderly person goes into the bathroom in fair shape
mentally but comes out confused, unreasonable. Not every day's
chlorine exposure will have the same effect. Trust your judgment.
Attach a carbon filter to the shower head (see Sources). Purchase
a variety that has very simple-to-replace cartridges. Figure out
how long it should last and write the date for replacement on the
outside of it for your own convenience.
When into and out of the bathroom is a different performance
suspect chlorine. Put a filter on your faucets.
Chlorinated water can cause mental problems.
Washing hands and face in chlorinated water can give off
enough chlorine to trigger a manic episode in a manic-depressive
person. Certainly, it is enough to cause mental effects in an elderly person. Of course, the chlorine bleach bottle
should not be kept under the sink. It should be kept in a closed
plastic bag in the garage. It should not be used while the elderly
person is in the house and never for his or her laundry. Use
Don't pollute the air with fresh flowers, potpourris, or room
fresheners. These can induce a dizzy spell.
Room air conditioners may have a fiberglass filter! This fills
the house with tiny particles of glass to be breathed by everybody.
The body makes tumors out of them in order to stop them
from cutting through your tissue. Replace the filter with a foam
sheet. This sheet is 1/8 inch thick and washable. I have not found
these types of foam filters to emit formaldehyde.
Room air filters are not the answer to polluted air. Removing
the pollution source is. Air filters may remove some of the toxic
elements but by blowing the air (and dust) around vigorously the
remaining toxins are made much more vicious in their effect. The
noise of a filter motor and fumes it may put out itself adds misery
to the simple job of breathing. Using a non-fiberglass filter at the
furnace is a better idea.
Make sure all fragrances are removed from the air, even
though family members “like” them. They don't belong in air. The
lungs treat them like toxins to be coughed up or removed by the
kidneys and immune system. This includes colognes, scented
tissues, soap and shampoo and shaving supplies. If you can walk
into the bathroom blindfolded and know you're in the bathroom,
it's not clean enough. Everything in the bathroom pollutes the air
of the whole house. People who must use fragrance should apply
it outdoors to keep the indoor air less polluted.