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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Improving Indoor Air Quality: Good, Green News for Southwest Florida Homeowners

Apr 03, 2011 09:12PM ● By Brigit Ingram

Green homes aren’t just about energy savings and reducing waste and recycling—they are also about indoor air quality. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, where paint, carpet, plastic and cleaning compounds, unless otherwise labeled, contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that off-gas over time, affecting air quality and causing long-term health issues. As Southwest Florida businesses respond to consumer demand for eco-friendly products for the home, healthier solutions for improving and maintaining clean indoor air become easier to find.

Dan Cerie, owner of Dan’s Cleaning Services, offers customers non-toxic cleaning options because it is the solution that he and his cleaning crew prefer. The company leaves no harmful environmental footprint behind, and its cleaning products are safe for children and pets. “Our cleaning products contain no added fragrances, dyes or solvents,” advises Cerie, who cautions that carpet or grout shouldn’t be allowed to deteriorate to the point that gentler green cleaning products can’t adequately remove the buildup of soil and pollutants. “I prefer not to use harsh chemicals like bleach, which emits strong fumes,” he says.

Chris Amisano, owner of Healthy Home Dry Carpet Cleaning, first used the environmentally friendly HOST Dry Extraction Carpet Cleaning System in his own home to reduce the frequency of allergy attacks that plague him and his son. “The non-toxic system removes dust mites, mold, bacteria and pet and environmental allergens,” says Amisano. The proof, he notes, is in an extended study of 63 homes in Georgia and Wisconsin, where HOST was used to clean carpets and mite allergens decreased 75 percent one day after cleaning. Another study established that cat allergens in carpet could be decreased 85 percent with a single cleaning.

A second valuable service that Amisano offers is mattress sanitizing, which is done with the same ultraviolet light (UV-C) sterilization equipment that is used in hospitals to kill viruses. The light, which penetrates four inches into a mattress, kills dust mites, mold and mildew as a small vacuum cleaner takes in the residue. “It is wise to clean your mattress at least once a year, because the average person sheds about one-and-a-half pounds of skin annually, and one-third of it goes into the mattress,” explains Amisano, adding that dead skin is what dust mites feed on.

Sterilizing also makes sense for the growing number of individuals who buy an organic mattress to alleviate allergy symptoms and protect their body from the off-gassing of flame retardants found in the typical mattress. The Organic Trade Association reports that the demand for organic pillows and mattresses, such as the Green Sleep System sold at The Back Store, has seen double-digit growth recently.

According to store owner James Koss, the manufacturer of the Green Sleep System grows its own rubber trees in North Malaysia, which produces the purest, most elastic rubber on the planet. Surrounding the rubber is an organic cotton velour cover, quilted with organic silk, and the finest organic wool, which originates from fleeces sourced from a small island in the Netherlands, where no pesticides or harsh chemicals have ever been used.

Breathing in cleaner indoor air with less pollutants and allergens can contribute to an even more restful sleep on what Koss calls, “…a little piece of heaven that fell to Earth.” Here’s to a clean cloud and a few greener ZZZs to improve your health.

Dan’s Cleaning. Call 239-200-8145 or visit

Healthy Home Dry Carpet Cleaning. Call 239-653-9397 or visit

The Back Store, 194 and 198 Tamiami Trail N., Naples. Call 239-659-4560 or visit

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