When the word pollution comes to our mind, usually we always think about the pollution outside our home. We always think about urban cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. We spend most of the time indoors at home, offices, school, gym and thinks that we are safe. The less researched air pollution, Indoor Air Pollution, also contributes nearly the same as outside air pollution.
Basically, there are two types of air pollution
1. Indoor Air Pollution/ Household Air Pollution
2. Outdoor Air Pollution/ Ambient Air Pollution
What is Indoor Air Pollution?
Indoor air pollution is the degradation of indoor air quality by harmful chemicals, biological and physical contamination of indoor air. It can more than 5 times worse than outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution caused 64 per cent fewer deaths in 2000-2019 in India, according to a report by interdisciplinary journal Lancet Planetary Health.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
According to WHO, around 3 billion people, especially women from India and other countries, use solid fuels for cooking. These include waste wood, charcoal, coal, dung, and crop wastes. These are burnt inside the home releases PM 2.5 because of incomplete combustion, which is very harmful to the lungs. Thankfully this pollution is somehow reduced due to the increase in LPG uses.
2. Personal Care Products/ Cleaning Products
Our daily use products like body lotions, air fresheners, cleaning products, perfumes contain synthetic fragrances. Synthetic fragrances have petrochemicals, which is very harmful and may cause serious diseases like cancer, congenital disabilities, nervous disorders.
3. Vacuum Cleaner
Australian researchers in 2012 discovered that older and cheaper vacuum cleaners release more bacteria and dust. Most vacuum cleaners suck dirt, bacteria from the floor and release them into the air. This type of vacuum cleaner pollutes the air instead of cleaning the house. It reaches the respiratory system.
Always buy a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. These filters apparently capture 99.9% dirt, dust, and bacteria.
4. Nonstick Cookware
Non-stick cookware is quite common in every home. The fact that most of us don’t know that non-stick cookware releases toxic fumes when overheated. When you overheat the cookware, it may lead to a condition known as ‘Teflon flu’, which may also kill birds. Continue using this may be serious damage to the brain and lungs.
You can choose alternatives of nonstick cookware, i.e. ceramic cookware, brass cookware, and the best one is clay cookwares.
Paints contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are very harmful to our bodies. It includes various chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. It may have health effects like nausea, kidney, and central nervous system, headache, etc.
The solution is to use paints that don’t have VOCs.
6. Mosquito coils, Incense sticks
Mosquito coils and incense sticks contain carcinogens. Burning one mosquito coil in a closed room amounts to smoking roughly 100 cigarettes. Inhaling smoke emitted by mosquito coils and incense sticks is not only harmful to the lungs but can also cause cancer.
If you can’t avoid this use in a well-ventilated place as air will circulate properly. Avoid Mosquito coils as much as possible.
Smoking inside the home will be dangerous for you and also for your family. This is because the particles and residual gas from cigarettes settle on the fabrics and sofas. This small particle can settle there for so many days and releases harmful gases. This is called third-hand smoking. Third-hand smoking as much as dangerous as secondhand smoking.
Be smoke-free inside the home is a great approach for you and your family.
Indoor Air Pollution Impact to Human Health
Immediate effects due to indoor pollution may be a headache, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat dizziness, and fatigue. These effects are maybe curable and short-term. But regular exposure to this type of pollution can be a long-term issue.
Exposure to harmful pollutants may show up other health effects like respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer can be severely debilitating or fatal. So it is always recommended that improve indoor air quality even if the symptoms are not noticeable.
How To Improve Indoor Air Quality
Various methods we can adopt to improve the air quality. These are super easy and convenient to implement
- Keep your home clean
- Let the sunlight enter your home
- The kitchen should have enough ventilation or an exhaust fan
- Avoid smoking indoors
- Remove carpets if possible
- Minimize use of air fresheners
- Invest in an Air Purifier
- Indoor Plants
Plants are natural air purifiers. It has the ability to absorb and catabolize various toxic substances that exist in the environment. Based on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research, indoor plants can be useful as like as commercial air purifiers. It is recommended to use two plants in each room of 100 square feet.
5 indoor plants which are very easy to maintain, the best air purifier, and will make your home beautiful.
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