Indoor pollution occurs when pollutants from gases contaminate the air in indoor places. Indoor pollution can occur in your home in many ways and pose some serious health risks. Removing them will increase the quality of the circulation of air indoors meaning that you and your loved ones will breathe better. It may also bring down the risk of serious longterm diseases.
Scientists have discovered that indoor pollution causes 3.8-4.3 million deaths in the world each year. Several people in India prepare food using traditional methods using charcoal and wood for open fires. Such practices increase the number of air pollutants around their homes. Before you can be able to understand how to reduce indoor pollution, it is important that you understand its causes.
Causes of Indoor Pollution
High temperatures, humidity, toxic chemicals, and poor ventilation are some of the few causes of Indoor pollution. Here is a detailed explanation of these and several other pollutants:
1. Asbestos is the main cause of indoor pollution
It can be found in several materials used in the automotive industry as well as the construction of buildings. They are commonly found in floor tiles, ceilings, paints, coatings, and building materials. You likely not find as much asbestos in your current home because new products do not have asbestos. However, the probability of finding asbestos is higher in an old home than that which was constructed a few years ago.
2. Toxins in nonstick pans and pots
A lot of people in India have been buying nonstick utensils over the recent years. The fact that they do not stick doesn’t mean that they are safe. The chemical, PFOA which is linked with the cookware is said to cause ovarian, prostate, kidney and thyroid cancer.
Nonstick pans are said to release toxic fumes when they heat up over 500F. it is therefore not advisable for you to superheat your nonstick pots and pans.
3. Natural pollutants
They include mold, pollen, viruses, and bacteria that may induce asthma and fever in adults and kids.
4. Perfumes and deodorants
Most synthetic fragrances are not fully regulated by the government. Some of the most volatile chemicals used are toxic and can irritate the skin, cause reproductive disorders and allergic reactions.
5. Tobacco smoke
The smoke that comes from active smoking of tobacco products can also be an indoor pollutant. Secondhand or passive smoking also has 200 poisons and 43 carcinogens.
6. Pesticides pollution
80% of the pesticides people in India are exposed to are from indoor sources. The contaminated air from the soil may also find its way into our homes.
7. Pet dander
Pets such as dogs and cats may leave skin flakes popularly known as dander in the air. To many people dander is an allergen and may cause irritation, wheezing and coughs.
Ways to Reduce Indoor Pollution
1. Improve indoor ventilation
You can simply do this by open all the windows in your house in the morning. Adequate ventilation is paramount in improving the quality of air circulation in such a way that the pollen count will be reduced.
2. Avoid smoking
Smoking indoors increases the amount of smoke and toxins which affects indoor air quality. Quitting smoking is the best option here.
3. Thorough cleaning and dusting
Regular cleaning is highly recommended to improve indoor air quality and eliminate mold, pet dander, pollen, and bacteria. You should dust with environmentally friendly detergents or equipment.
4. Trash management
Always remember to cover trash aids to keep away insects and pests. This will, as a result, reduce the use of pesticides in your home.
5. Avoid the use of chemicals indoors
It is recommended that you use natural products that have less harmful elements. There are plants that can help you in indoor purification like the peace lily and the spider plant.
6. Minimize the use of perfumes and air fresheners
Using fragrance-free fresheners may help to reduce indoor air pollution.
7. Test emissions from your car regularly
People also spend a lot of time indoors in cars when moving from one place to another. You can test your car emissions to mitigate indoor air pollution in the car.
8. Use carbon monoxide detectors
The use of carbon detectors helps to decrease the buildup of carbon of monoxide reducing indoor air pollution.