Are Our Homes Slowly Killing Us? Surprising Facts About Indoor Air Pollution

Are you someone who uses a breathing mask, when getting out of your home?  Well, if you’re someone living in India, you must be used to this behavior. One of the biggest health concern faced by the citizens; especially those residing in Northern parts of the country at this moment is ‘Air Pollution‘. Due to the uncontrolled rise in air pollution, major cities like Delhi have been under heavy smog for the past few days. This smog is a threat to the lives of the citizens. Much respiratory illness and breathing problems have occurred due to the rise in air pollution.  On the other hand, the air quality inside our homes is doubtful either.

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 Do You Think The Air Inside Our Homes Is Clean? 

Most of us may not be aware of the term indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution is a type of pollution that occurs when certain air pollutants from within households contaminate the air of indoor areas. These air pollutants can cause respiratory diseases, breathing problems or even cancer in extreme cases. One of the most common indoor pollutants is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by appliances or heaters that burn natural gas, oil, wood, propane, or kerosene.

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Let’s look at some statistics. One of the most surprising statistics reported by the EPA said that the air indoors is 10 times more polluted than the air outdoors. According to WHO, 4.3 million people a year die from the exposure to household air pollution.We inhale approximately 15,000 or more quarts of air per day, most of the time this air can be polluted. Studies have shown that the frequency rate of pediatric asthma has increased from 40.1 to 69.1 majorly due to indoor air pollution. The amount of children and young adults with severe allergies and asthma continues to climb every year. This has been linked to increasingly poor indoor air quality.

How-To-Reduce-Indoor-Air_Pollution-AlignThoughtsThere are various factors that contribute to sources of indoor air pollution including your garage, basement, bathroom, kitchen etc. 

According to WHO, most of the people in many parts of the world cook and heat their homes using solid fuels (i.e. wood, charcoal, coal, dung, crop wastes) on open fires or traditional stoves.

Such inefficient cooking and heating practices produce high levels of household (indoor) air pollution which includes a range of health-damaging pollutants.

Here is a diagram presented in the Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety; highlighting the ill effects of indoor air pollution on our body.

Recently awareness has been raised across the country to work together improving the indoor air quality and control Indoor Air Pollution.

On a personal level too, you can do a few things to improve the quality of air that you breathe. So go ahead to learn, how to keep indoor air clean.

 

1. Air Purifiers 

Air Purifiers or Air Filters help prevent toxins and bacteria from getting in your home.  They can filter out up to 99.97 percent of all indoor air pollutants which are larger than .3 microns. This includes mold, pollen, dander, and most chemical pollutants. However, they require to be maintained and the filters need to be changed regularly.

2. Vacuum 

Regularly cleaning your home will help to reduce pollution. Vacuum cleaners are said to be very useful as they suck all the dust, germs, allergens and other tiny components that a normal broom may not be able to clean.

3. Plants 

Plants are known to be the biggest source of reducing air pollution. Plants, as we all are aware, breathe in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. In this process, they also help in purifying the surrounding air. Have small plants placed in your homes. Not only will you be able to reduce the indoor air pollution, but also give a nice décor touch to your house.

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4. Ventilation 

Proper ventilation is necessary for the houses especially in areas like kitchen and bathroom. Smoke from cooking, burning charcoal, and various other activities can be filtered out. Moreover, proper ventilation will help in the circulation of fresh and clean air.

5. Avoid VOC 

Choose your wall paint wisely. Make sure the wall paint you choose doesn’t have any harmful chemicals in them. These days, many brands of wall paints claim to have substances that help in purifying the air quality within. Indoor paints, polishes, chemicals like deodorants and air sprays, and cleaning agents generate VOC. Make sure to check the amount of VOC on the packet before buying any of the above-mentioned products.

6. Maintenance 

It is important to maintain our homes. Make sure you don’t have any molds, insects or any other harmful substance growing in your homes which can affect the air quality. There are also radon test kits available in the market and online which can help in determining the radon levels present in your homes. Check for leaking taps, gas, ventilation spaces etc. as high levels of moisture generates fungus and breeds germs. Also, segregate and take out your garbage regularly.

Final Thoughts, 

Most importantly, lend a helping hand. There are many homes where woman still uses traditional methods of cooking due to unavailability of facilities or financial conditions. Various charities are working to help such causes. Spread awareness about the ill effects of indoor pollution. Get outside regularly rather than staying cooped up in your homes. Take a stand and don’t compromise on the quality of air that you breathe indoors. It’s time we take the right decisions and take care of our health and the health of our loved ones.

Do you any other ways to keep indoors clean? Leave it at the comments section below. Also subscribe with us for more such useful articles.