When talking about air pollution, we generally tend to refer to outdoor-related issues. But, did you know that the air quality of your indoors can get affected by several factors as well? According to IHME, the effects of indoor air pollution cause around 1.6 million deaths in the world each year. But how does the air quality of your indoors get affected?
Well, there are several pollutants available out there that can pollute the air of your house. For example, it can be caused by the emission of gases while you are cooking. Moreover, the usage of charcoal, wood, or dung can prompt the same as well. Besides, if you are a smoker and tend to smoke in your room, then it might pollute the air too.
Indoor Air Pollution: Causes
Be it indoors or outdoors; we’re not sure about the air quality standard that we are breathing in every day. Indoor air pollution is also a serious threat, similar to outdoor air pollution. Inadequate ventilation increases the level of air pollutants in that area, which is a significant reason for indoor pollution. Several reasons are lining up with this specific problem. Let’s find out the constitutes and causes of indoor pollution.
1. Harmful Smoke From Gas stoves & Fuels
As per the World Health Organization, around 3 billion people across the globe are still using natural gas stoves, fuels for cooking. Then you need to pay attention quickly. These cooking appliances emit harmful gases like NO2 (Nitrogen dioxide) and CO (carbon monoxide). And it contains a small percentage of formaldehyde as well.
If the ventilation system is not properly running, it can increase the rate of smoke and natural gas levels in the house. So smoke arises from gas stoves, kerosene, and other solid fuels that are highly dangerous. It is one of the foremost reasons for indoor air pollution.
2. Formaldehyde in household products
More or less formaldehyde is present in every house. This is an embalming fluid primarily required for household products and industrial equipment. When it comes in contact with air, it can cause several issues like skin allergy, breathing problems, eye irritation, etc. Mainly new home furniture or office cabinets etc., release formaldehyde. If it combines with smoke, then it’s quite harmful. Formaldehyde is another source of indoor pollution.
3. Secondhand smoke & Tobacco smoke
We are aware of the fact that Smoking is injurious to health. The amount of smoke and pollutant particles released from the cigarette and other smokes stay in the air. In today’s world, most people consume cigarettes. This secondhand smoke or passive Smoking is quite harmful to children.
This toxin in your body can damage respiratory organs. It’s not possible to reduce the intensity of secondhand smoke through ventilation. Any air filter or exhaust won’t help you to remove the pollutants. There’s no alternative to control this issue. So it’s better to quit before it’s too late.
4. Air Freshener
Everyone loves the fresh and smooth fragrance in their house. Besides this fresh fragrance, you need to think about the harmful chemicals, phthalates, formaldehyde present in room fresheners. The ingredients and chemicals used in these aromatic candles, sprays, and room fresheners are harmful. Phthalates are one of the components of nail polish and perfumes. This is another reason for indoor pollution that causes several health issues.
In today’s world, everyone uses pest control sprays and chemicals to control the pests problem. Though we are well known for this fact, it is poisonous and harmful. Pesticides contain pollutant substances that cause several health issues. The chemical components of any pesticides are hazardous. We use this to kill insects and fungus problems, but it causes air pollution.
6. Pet hair & dander
We are all pet lovers. Do you know your pet hair and dander are responsible for indoor air pollution? Yes! Pet hair and dander float in the air, which is unseen in naked eyes. So, proper pet care is necessary to keep your home safe from air pollution. Otherwise, it can trigger several allergic and breathing issues. So this is also an important reason for indoor pollution.
Recommended Reading: Air Pollution in India – A Brief Highlight
How to Lessen the Prevalence of Indoor Air Pollution?
According to researches, around 6% of morbidity in the 3rd world or low-income nations occurs due to indoor air pollution. Thus, learning about the ways to reduce its production might be beneficial for you. So, let’s get started with it!
1. Stop Smoking
The smoke of cigarette or pipe is considered to be one of the most prominent pollutants in the world. While smoking, a cigarette tends to emanate a huge amount of pollutant particles and residual gas in the air. This, in turn, affects the quality of air and causes pollution.
If you have more than one carpet or fabric in your room, then these pollutants will begin to build upon them. The risk of getting affected by this issue is disproportionately high for those who are younger and older. It can cause severe heart and lung disease to anyone.
Thus, to lower the prominence of indoor air pollution, you will need to, first, stop smoking. However, if you can’t let go of your habit, then we would suggest you get out of your house for smoking purposes.
2. Do Not Use Household Cleaners Excessively
Whether you do believe it or not, but most of the household cleaning modules contain a hefty amount of harsh chemicals. So, if you use too much of them in your house or room, then they might irritate your nose and mouth quite prominently.
Furthermore, if you breathe them in on a regular basis, then they can also affect the capability of your lungs and cause asthma. Hence, instead of opting for them, you can use other natural house-cleaning supplies.
Employing elbow grease can also be a decent solution to avoid indoor air pollution. However, if you are suffering from asthma, then be sure to stay away from using the following substances or products –
3. Keep Your Windows Open
Adequate and proper ventilation can be an ideal way to promote a healthy environment and air in your house. If you keep your windows open, especially during the morning, then they can encourage the exchange between outdoor and indoor air.
This, in turn, will prevent the dust or allergens from building up in your room and reduce the risk of indoor air pollution. Moreover, if the flow of air is decent, then it can also take away the foul odour from your house and allow you to breathe in fresh and subtle air.
4. Do Not Forget to Change Air Filters
Do you have an air-cooling house? Then, be sure to clean or change the filters of them as frequently as possible. While cooling off the air in your domicile, the best air cooler also tends to suck up the allergens and dust from your room.
So, if you do not clear it daily, then the machine will start releasing them due to overloading. It, in turn, might cause severe indoor air pollution. Thus, to avoid calamity, it becomes quite essential for you to change or clean the air filters frequently.
5. Start Using a Doormat
Contrary to popular belief, our shoes tend to carry a huge amount of dust and dirt, especially when you are coming back from somewhere. Thus, it becomes essential for everyone to introduce the shoes-off policy in their house.
Aside from it, you can also use a doormat and keep it in the front section of your house. This way, it will be easier for you to wipe your shoes and keep them clean. Moreover, it will also prevent you from bringing pollutants in your house from the outside.
6. Use a Dehumidifier
Having a humid room can increase the chance of indoor air pollution quite massively. Therefore, to reduce the risks, you will, first, need to find a way to reduce the amount of humidity in your house. And, a dehumidifier can be a perfect option for you.
With a dehumidifier, you can soak up all the humidity from your room quite efficiently. This, in turn, can help you to reduce the overall moisture of your house and lower the number of moulds as well. Hence, you will not need to deal with bad odour on a daily basis.
7. Opt for an Air Purifier
If you are thinking about getting rid of the issues regarding indoor air pollution prominently, then make sure to buy the best air purifier in the market. In essence, they cannot help you to get rid of everything all alone.
But, if you do follow the aforementioned tips thoroughly, then it can surely keep away the pollutants and allergens from your residence. Moreover, it can also get rid of all the small components, which tends to worsen the symptoms of asthma.
Recommended Reading: 9 Best Air Purifiers in India 2022
8. Avoid Carpet Flooring
In essence, carpet flooring offers a touch of sophistication in almost any house or room. Moreover, they can also make walking and running pretty much comfortable and enjoyable. However, unlike the wooden floorings, they tend to retain a huge amount of dust as well.
In addition, it can also trap some other pollutants, such as dust mites, mould spores, pet dander, as well. Thus, while dusting them, you might end up filling your house with dust and dirt. Hence, instead of using a carpet, you may use hard-surface flooring.
It will not be as comfortable as the former, but it can definitely help you in reducing indoor air pollution.
9. Skip Fireplaces
Using fireplaces, especially during winter, does make a lot of sense. They offer a cuddly warm environment and can help you to make your house look a bit classier as well. Nevertheless, the burning of woods can increase the amount of Co2 in your room.
Thus, if you do not keep your windows open, then you might experience difficulty breathing and constant coughing. Moreover, it can also affect your lungs and restrict them from performing their primary tasks correctly. Instead, you can use a heater to keep yourself warm and safe while avoiding indoor air pollution.
10. Go for Vacuum Cleaner
Most people, especially in the 3rd world countries, use a broom for cleaning their house or room. Well, in a way, it is, indeed, an affordable way to clean one’s surroundings. However, while dusting with a broom, the dust might end up getting mixed with the air in your room.
So, as an alternative, you can opt for a vacuum cleaner to take care of your home. With it, there will be no risk of the specks of dust getting mixed with the air in your room. Moreover, the vacuum cleaners are also a lot easier to use and, thus, will not cause strains in your waist.
11. Stay Away from Air Fresheners
Living in an odorous room can be quite distressing and disturbing for almost anyone. Moreover, keeping the foul scent from the room can be somewhat tricky as well. For that, you will need to do dusting throughout your house, clean it, and use air fresheners as well.
However, these products usually come with various harmful components, which can affect the environment of your house massively. In addition, it can be unhealthy for someone who is suffering from asthma as well. Thus, it will be better for you to avoid them at any cost.
Here are a few other things, which you need to avoid for reducing the risk of indoor air pollution:
12. Install an Exhaust Fan in the Kitchen
The production of cooking gases and fumes is considered to be one of the most prominent causes of indoor air pollution. Moreover, the generation of steam can also affect the overall quality of air somewhat negatively.
Thus, if you want to get rid of this issue, then you will need to install an exhaust fan in your Kitchen.
Nevertheless, while implementing the same, you will need to keep the dryer vents at the outside of your house. It, in turn, will aid in minimizing lint products and maintain a well-polished look of your kitchenette.
13. Keep Air Purifying Plants
There are various specific species of houseplants available out there, which can entirely purify the air in your house. Furthermore, they also have the capability of filtering out organic chemical components as well.
Thus, to be safe and reduce indoor air pollution, make sure to keep at least one air-purifying plant in each of your rooms. The following are some of the options that you can choose from –
14. Keep the Gutters Clean
Clogged gutters, in most cases, will lead to water seepage from the ceiling and walls of your room. Hence, you will need to unclog them as frequently as possible to avoid the accumulation of water.
Otherwise, the stagnant water will go through the cracks of the walls and enter the house. This way, the dampening procedure of your home will begin and prompt the infestation of moss and moulds. It may pollute the air in your room and cause breathing issues.
15. Maintain Your Pets
Inculcating the cleaning habits of your kids is not going to enough for you to prevent indoor air pollution. In addition, you will also need to do the same with your pets. But why are we asking you to do so?
Well, for starters, the furry coats of a dog or cat can magnetize a huge amount of dust and dirt. In some cases, it may attract various allergens and harmful insects as well.
So, if you do not keep them clean and fresh, then they can affect the environment of your house and the health of your kids as well.
16. Wash Up Your Bedding
The accumulation of dust mites tends to be much more prominent in the beddings. Therefore, cleaning them up on a regular basis becomes quite crucial for you. However, as mentioned before, be sure to use a vacuum cleaner to perform the task. Using a broom might mess up the whole thing.
17. Change Clothes after Coming Back Home
Like your shoes, your clothes, too, tend to bring a lot of pollen, dirt, and ragweed with itself. Therefore, to keep your house clean and free from indoor air pollution, you will need to change and wash your clothes after coming back from your outdoor stint.
In truth, there are dozens of ways that can help you to keep your house free from air pollution. However, if you are thinking about opting for the safest option, then we would ask you to opt for an air purifier. They are highly efficient and powerful. Thus, they can help you to deliver pure air to your family without making any fuss.
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