The air that we breathe is our life source. But it could also, quite possibly, be killing us. Air quality is becoming a modern crisis, with the World Health Organization (WHO) classifying air pollution as the world’s largest health risk, linking one in eight total global deaths to air pollution exposure, both indoor and out.
As per data released by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), 500,000 lives are lost in India every year due to indoor air pollution. Most of them are women and children. A WHO report says that 3.5 % of the total burden of disease in India has been attributable to household air pollution.
So, what can you do to protect your health, and that of your family, from this silent killer lurking in your home? Detect and correct. Find out what is causing air pollution in your home and then take steps to help correct or mitigate those causes.
What Is Indoor Air Pollution?
Poor indoor air quality is caused by particle matter in the air, most commonly from dust and smoke, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by both natural and manmade materials (primary culprits are paints, stains, cleaning solutions and glues in furniture and carpets) and humidity, which can cause mould to grow in our homes and offices.
According to the WHO, pollutants found in indoor air that are known to be health hazards include
- Carbon monoxide
- Nitrogen dioxide
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
How to Get Cleaner Air
—The simplest step you can take is your ventilate your home properly. Open doors, windows, turn on fans and get the air circulating, especially if you have recently introduced something into your home that may be off-gassing chemicals—such as new carpet or paint.
—Another simple, yet important thing you should check is your air conditioning system or room heater (as the case may be depending on where you live). Check these devices at least once a month for build-up, and replace the filters at least every three months.
—Invest in an indoor air filtration system, such as the QNet’s bestselling Air Purifier with Sharp’s patented Plasmacluster Ion Technology. This award winning, high performance air purifier creates a fresh indoor environment by generating negative and positive ions that eliminate harmful substances – pollen dust, allergens, viruses, molds, gases – and foul smell from air as well as surfaces creating a natural and fresh environment to breathe clean and safe air.
What You Should Get Rid Of
You can help keep the air in your home cleaner by banishing or reducing some of the following:
- Don’t allow anyone to smoke in or near your home.
- Never idle a car in or near the garage.
- Remove all chemicals and toxic materials from your garage, especially if its attached to the house.
- Reduce carpeting, which traps unhealthy particles that are released again when vacuuming.
- Replace chemical based cleaners and detergents with those with natural ingredients, and avoid using products with “fragrance” (such as air fresheners), as these can contribute to the formation of formaldehyde and other nasty VOCs.
The important thing to remember about indoor air quality is that everything you bring into your home is contributing to it in some way—good or bad. It’s crucial to be proactive: Check products for VOCs before you purchase add houseplants to help filter the air naturally, and be sure to ventilate properly when cooking, or burning any fossil fuels.