The recent ban placed on Diwali crackers in the National Capital Region of India has brought into sharp focus the rising menace of hazardous levels of air pollution present in cities. A general lack of awareness among the masses regarding the health effects of this problem only aggravates it. Another complication is the difficulty felt in finding any easy or standardised means of measuring air pollution levels.
While controlling or avoiding air pollution that occurs outdoorsis not in one’s hands, a lot can be done to keep the air inside homes and offices clean and fresh.With the price of air purifiers ranging from INR 2000 to INR 12,000, the best option would be to use these air purifying appliances indoors.
If you are still wondering if air purifier is necessary, you need to understand what causes indoor air pollution and that would justify the need for such an appliance. The following are the 6 most common causes of indoor air pollution and its effects on human health:
It comes from smoking (passive or otherwise), cooking fires, stoves and chimneys, making it hard to avoid this form of pollution.The effect this pollutant has on the health of peopleis different.From infancytill teenage, children exposed to smoke are susceptible to ear infections, respiratory irritation and asthma. For adults, it increases the chances of contracting lung cancer, bronchitis, pneumonia, heart disease or getting a stroke.
For the uninitiated, Radon is an invisible and odourless radioactive gas formed under the ground as a by-product of uranium breakdown.From there, it seeps up, finding its way inside homes through cracks in walls or in the foundation of a building. It is also found in certain building materials.
Among the various toxins causing air pollution, Radon is the pollutant most linked to cases of lung cancer.As Radon can neither be seen with the naked eye nor be smelled, a test designed specifically to check the presence of Radon has to be conducted.The source of the leak has to be detected and removedwithprofessional help.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile Organic Compounds are certain noxious and lethal gases emitted from a variety of common products used in and around the house such as paints and varnishes, wall paint removers, products used for cleaning floors, adhesives and certain building materials.
The level of these toxins ispersistently found to be at least 10 times higher indoors than outdoors. These gases cause nausea, headaches and dizziness in the short run and organ failure andmultiple types of cancers in the long run.
Miniscule particles are found inmany materials like asbestos commonly used in the construction of buildings and automobiles.Asbestos particles easily enter the wind pipe through which it reaches the lungs and lodges itself into the wall of the lungs permanently. It can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.The removal of sources of asbestos, if mishandled, can lead to release of lethal asbestos fibril in the surrounding air. Hence,seeking professional help is recommended.
Modern methods ofcombating the centuries-old problem of pest control require spraying homes with pesticides, which comprise of a plethora ofchemicals.Frequent use subsequently adversely affects the air quality as well. The pesticides that we use outside in our gardens and fields enter the homes with the contaminated dust particles that blow with the wind.
The damage caused by exposure to pesticides is far-reaching and multidimensional.It affects our nerves, sensory organs, lungs, heart and kidneys. Their presence stays for a long time after their use. They have a bad impact on people with weak immunity.
Formaldehyde is an organic compound used for embalming purposes. It is found in furniture made ofwood, plywood items and laminated flooring. The release of formaldehyde continues for more than two years after its use in products.This compound causes irritation to the skin, throat and eyes.
Indoor air pollution is a major cause of concern today. Eradicating air pollutants is important to enhance the quality of indoor air. The best way to maintain a healthyhome and keep the aforementioned pollutants out is by using an air purifier.