Testing for Chemicals in Indoor Air

Elisabeth Leamy reveals how to test for, reduce chemical emissions in your home.
4:18 | 01/19/12

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Transcript for Testing for Chemicals in Indoor Air
Most of us associate air pollution was smoke stacks and tail pipes outside but the EPA. Now considers indoor air quality of the fourth greatest pollution threat ABC's -- was between if you tell us what that means what we can do about it and we don't matter so much especially -- This just -- what 90% of our time inside. We sure do and we've found you a way to show you something that is -- visible. You can smell the chemicals in your home sometimes but you can't see them they're -- -- thousands of them and we want to know which ones how much and what they're doing to our bodies. We set out to set up look perfect child's nursery but as our team Friday in the grim changing table rocker and decorations -- they also bringing in. Formaldehyde. Benzene ethylene glycol and other. It until -- -- for expectant moms like. Mandy Joyner. The fact that your home for your safe haven and the place -- -- subsidy to safest. Also a potential cause for danger and you start taking on the clintons what are all these chemicals and what is that doing my family. It's not just furniture other indoor products like cleaning fluids computer keyboards and kitchen cabinets also off gas powerful chemicals the American Lung Association says those chemicals can cause things like eye -- throat irritation in the short term and has cancer in the long term. The question is what kind of invisible things are or are -- here exactly. So that's the -- that's -- all this equipment sport so we asked didn't indoor air quality technician to test our new nursery and we soon learned the air in this pretty room contains 300. Different chemical compounds. Compared to just do when we tested right outside the same house. Whether it's significant enough to cause irritation and and health problems -- -- look at the rollout results and tell. Next stop the lab and Green garden part of underwriters laboratories. Green guard test furnishings for chemicals and then gives its seal of approval to those with the lowest emissions. Through the years of research we've determined that -- only -- the air quality. More hazardous inside -- it is outside but the source of those many pollutants are coming from the very materials that we use on an -- That's why years ago Green guard pioneered a way to actually measure the chemicals coming off of the product by isolating it in a giant chamber. -- -- the test chamber is made entirely of stainless steel and the last two materials that don't off gas. That -- the results are a reflection. Only of what -- is placed inside. It's time for lab workers still load our nursery furniture into the chamber where it'll sit for seven days these -- capture the chemicals coming. Off of the furniture it's similar to what the collender who -- where. If you restrain new gas water or go through -- middle play behind -- saying same principle. Restraining chemicals that's right. One week later we learned the rocker in our nursery contains more than seven times the California recommended level of formaldehyde which is known to cause cancer. But crib -- -- off more than a hundred different chemicals including industrial solvents an alcohol -- and the paint contains chemical gases at five times the recommended limit. And yet none of these products is in violation of any law. We -- standards for -- outdoor air we have standards for occupational workers. But we don't have -- for people in -- homes today Phillips. -- you bring new furniture or other products into your home slow down and think about what else you're bringing in this. -- that was. Really surprised at 300 chemicals inside -- tiny little version so what can people do about it. Well first of all look for products that are certified as having low emissions. The more people -- without the more there will be when you do buy new furniture un package it outdoors let it air out for a week or so before you bring -- -- And if -- gonna -- try to do it in the spring or fall when you can leave windows open ventilation is really -- It is important that you my thanks very much lot more tips on a website Good Morning America dot com.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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