Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019 | Last Update : 08:04 PM IST

Air Pollution: How do you prevent it at home?

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published : May 17, 2019, 9:45 am IST
Updated : May 17, 2019, 9:45 am IST

Is the air we breathe indoors truly clean and safe from harmful pollutants?

Indoor Air Pollution refers to the physical, biological and chemical characteristics of the air inside the indoor settings of houses, buildings or institutions.
 Indoor Air Pollution refers to the physical, biological and chemical characteristics of the air inside the indoor settings of houses, buildings or institutions.

We know how dangerously the pollution levels outside our homes have increased. With the increase in building constructions, traffic, and depleting greenery, the quality of indoor air is also getting affected no matter how much regular cleaning, vacuuming and dusting we do in our living space. Despite it all, our kids still fall sick and experience respiratory difficulties. Is the air we breathe indoors truly clean and safe from harmful pollutants? Let’s get some insights on indoor air pollution and ways to protect ourselves from these pollutants.

Indoor Air Pollution refers to the physical, biological and chemical characteristics of the air inside the indoor settings of houses, buildings or institutions. Indoor air pollution is dangerous because indoor air is known to be 10 times more concentrated with pollutants than the air outdoors.  Major causes of indoor Air Pollutions consist of the following:

-Dust

-Insecticides and other chemicals

-Chlorine by-products

-Perfumes

-Tobacco smoke

-Mold and Pollen

-Household cleaning chemicals and solvents

-Pet dander and many more.

The health effects of indoor air pollutants range from short-term effects, such as eye and throat irritation, to long-term effects, asthma, respiratory diseases, and even Cancer. In cases of exposure to high levels of some pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, it can even result in immediate death. Indoor air pollution affects children more severely than adults. It can reduce and weaken lung growth, making children more susceptible to cold and flu, resulting in airway obstruction in children and even impact their academic performance and productivity. Sanjit Satapathy, Executive Director, Consumer Business, 3M India, gives us some expert tips on how you can prevent your indoor air from causing health hazards.

Ways to Prevent Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor Air Pollution is a serious affair and affects the health and functioning of people living inside our homes, especially children. This is why special awareness should be bought to parents about the various ways in which we can prevent this, to a healthy extent at least.

Ventilation:

One must always keep the windows open and switch on exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens while cooking, cleaning, and during the use of hair sprays or any other chemical sprays. Proper ventilation can also minimize the humidity present indoors that can cause mold and mildew.

Indoor Plants:

Keeping indoor house plants not only serve as great home decor, but they also aid in cleaning out the indoor toxic pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde.

Don’t Allow Indoor Smoking:

Cigarette smoke contains about 70% carcinogenic substances and toxins that can reside inside your room for a long time. Encourage people not to smoke inside as these substance cause infections and leads to the development of respiratory issues such as asthma.

Air filters:

Another great way to ensure good quality indoor air is investing in air filters. These can be mounted to the AC which collects all the invisible harmful pollutant particles and protects the air inside your living spaces. AC filters need to be check and replace these filters whenever needed as they can have dust buildup, moisture & mold contamination and even undergo wear and tear which can affect its functioning.

Tags: air pollution, indoor air, health hazards, air purifiers