The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers indoor air pollution to be among the top five environmental issues. Increased exposure to indoor air pollution leads is responsible for causing 45% of pneumonia-related deaths in children under five years old.
The indoor air pollution effects range from short-term to long-term. Some of the common symptoms of indoor air pollution include - sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, fatigue, and headaches. Indoor air pollution is a more common issue in tightly sealed houses, and where the windows tend to remain closed at all times. It was seen that during the lockdown last year, about 78% of Indians resorted to using polluting fuels as their primary or secondary fuel while cooking. Kerala, followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Jharkhand, has emerged to be the biggest indoor emitters over the last year.
Importance of healthy indoor air quality
It is necessary to maintain the quality of indoor air for a healthy breathing environment. If ignored, the consequences are many. The quality of air that we breathe indoors has a direct effect on our health. Breathing is something that we do over 20,000 times a day, and hence it is critical to make sure that we get in healthy air quality. Good indoor air quality leads to an ideal home and work environment.
The coronavirus pandemic is going around, and hence the current lockdown situation is imposed by the government forcing people to stay indoors more than before. Hence, it is crucial to reduce the exposure to substances that make the environment around us exposed to toxins. It is necessary to have good ventilation at home to ensure clean and fresh outdoor air enters the house. A good ventilation system at home, will help to improve upon the pollutant levels, as well as the humidity levels, and will circulate fresh air.
You can also arrange for an indoor air quality test to ensure that your home is a safe environment to breathe in.
As per a study, the air that we breathe inside our houses and offices might be more polluted than the air outside. Pollutants tend to get accumulated at a higher level in contained areas as compared to open spaces. These pollutants are invisible to the naked eye and might lead to serious harm if ignored. Biological pollutants, including bacteria, molds, viruses, house mites, and others, might be possible factors leading to an increase in indoor air pollution. Hence, it becomes essential to maintain healthy indoor air quality. Identifying the possible causes of indoor air pollution will go a long way to help you and your family breathe better.
What is indoor air?
Indoor air refers to the air present in and around our home, school, office, or other neighboring building. The quality of indoor air is affected due to a variety of pollutants present inside, such as dust, lead, pet dander, and mites. If ignored, it can lead to serious consequences such as eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, or fatigue.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
When it comes to indoor air pollution, many factors carry the risk of worsening the situation. Apart from dust, mites, and molds the products that we bring from outside may also prove to be harmful. Let us see in a bit more detail regarding these sources.
We all love lighting candles. However, do you know that these might have an impact on the quality of the air you breathe? These candles include many toxins such as artificial dyes and fragrances that get released when you start burning them.
Air Fresheners are another factor that carries many harmful toxins, ultimately leading to a health risk. These air fresheners are made using phthalates and ethylene-based glycol ethers that might cause fatigue, nausea, and other health impacts.
We use a wide variety of cleaning products for maintaining cleanliness in our house. How many of these are safe for your breathing? These products contain harmful chemicals, including alcohol, chlorine, etc. might lead to irritation of eyes, throat, and headaches. It is advisable to make use of DIY products, such as white vinegar, baking soda, or tea tree oil, for maintaining cleanliness.
It is essential to ensure that your kitchen is well ventilated that helps to reduce the amount of air pollution in your home. Gas stoves, at times, involve cooking at a high temperature which leads to the spread of nitrogen dioxide in the air. Nitrogen dioxide, when mixed with the air, leads to irritation of the lungs and other health risks.
Ways to improve indoor air quality
We Indians spend above 80% of our time indoors, so it becomes crucial to breathe in healthy air. For healthy indoor air quality, it is necessary to make efforts from our end, to make sure that we breathe safely. Though it might not be possible to eliminate all the allergens, we can put in efforts to reduce their spread by different strategies. Let us see a few ways to maintain healthy indoor air quality.
Make sure to maintain cleanliness in your house so that good hygiene is maintained. Good hygiene will help to clear the dust and any animal dander present in your house. Make it a point to regularly clean your carpets with a vacuum cleaner for healthy indoor air quality.
Let in fresh air
Make sure that you have enough fresh air coming into your house. Opening windows is a good way to let out the impure air that arises while working in the kitchen.
Aerosol free products
Make sure that you invest in buying aerosol-free products rather than in scented cleaning products. These will help produce fewer pollutants and lead to better indoor air quality.
Get indoor plants
Indoor plants can be your best friend to help maintain healthy indoor air quality. Apart from adding a touch of greenery to your house, many plants possess air-purifying properties also. Common types of plants that you can keep indoors include - Bamboo Palm, Ficus, and Gerbera.
If you are looking to improve the indoor air quality within your business our air hygiene solutions can help to create a safe, hyginic environment. Contact us to find out how.
Initial provides a wide range of highly effective and afforable air purification to help protect your indoor environment from sick, dirty and toxic air.