Every single year, a smog descends about certain areas of the country and air quality becomes the buzzword of the day. However, while we are taking into consideration the threats posed by outdoor air pollution, it is also essential to monitor air quality indoors. It is reported that 1.5% deaths are caused every year due to indoor air pollution, with the number going up to 6% in developing countries. How exactly does air pollution occur indoors and what can you do about it? Let’s take a closer look!
How does air pollution occur indoors?
While air pollution is mostly credited to car emissions outdoors, it can also thrive indoors in poorly ventilated spaces. Indoor air is often contaminated due to the presence of chemicals such as asbestos and formaldehyde that are commonly found in wall paint, flooring, tiles and carpets. It also pays to stay vigilant about volatile organic compounds from paint, lacquer, adhesive and glue that can be emitted up to years after being used. The problem is further compounded by biological pollutants, such as bacteria, viruses, pollen and dust, can also enter the home from outdoors and flourish in damp spaces that aren’t cleaned regularly.
If you haven’t considered indoor air pollution until now, a study conducted by the United Nations Environmental Programme will change your mind. It has been discovered that indoor air pollution can contribute anything between 22 to 55% to the overall pollution levels. If we are looking at dialling back the levels of air pollution in the country, a dedicated effort is the need of the hour.
How to prevent air pollution indoors
The easiest way to reduce pollutants inside your home is to get to the source of the matter. Sources that contain asbestos need to be sealed to prevent any further contamination of air. Furthermore, household emissions from cooking and heating need to be taken into stock as well.
Improved ventilation is the next crucial step for ensuring that you flush out the pollutants from your home. With most homes sealed off to the outside world with air conditioning, fresh air doesn’t have a chance to enter the house. The mechanical air produced by ACs circulates in the same environment and doesn’t give bacteria any release. Regularly opening windows to allow fresh air inside and using ceiling fans when the weather is agreeable will go a long way for ventilating your space.
Instead of masking unpleasant odours with heavy air fresheners, it pays to eliminate the problem altogether. To avoid introducing more chemicals into an enclosed space, it is advisable to get to the source of the odour and cleanse it thoroughly with baking soda.
Needless to say, tobacco smoke also serves as a major culprit for poor indoor air quality. Even secondhand smoke can pose a significant threat to those residing in the home. It is advisable to completely avoid smoking in an air-conditioned space where it will circulate in the enclosed area.
Indoor air pollution may seem like a mammoth problem to comprehend, but the road to better air quality is paved with easy measures that you and us take every single day. Shall we get started?