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indoor pollution indoor pollutants voc's radon pollution facts indoor plants

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Indoor Pollution Facts

posted by kriti on 08/Nov/2019

When we hear the word pollution the first thing that comes to our mind is the fumes streaming through cars, buses and other vehicles making the city smoggy. We immediately associate the word pollution with dirty impure air existing outside the boundaries of our homes and offices. We rarely consider the fact that the air inside the house is almost the same as it is outside of our house or maybe worse than that but let me bring to your knowledge that indoor air pollution is a very real and dangerous thing because indoor air is far more concentrated with pollutants than outdoor air and there are many facts to support this statement. It's estimated that 2.2 million deaths each year are due to indoor air pollution.

 

The cleanliness of the house does not ensure safety from indoor pollution. The international studies have revealed that we are exposed to higher radiations in our homes and offices then the outside world. The best thing is that indoor pollution is easy to manage and control than outside pollution.

 

Now let us see what all factors are responsible for indoor pollution-

Perfumes and fragrances, furniture, plywood, paint adhesives, dry cleaned clothes, tobacco, smoke, cleaning liquids, hair and skin of pets, paraffin wax candle fumes, burning fuels, printers, humidity, and improper ventilation contribute a lot to the Indoor pollution. 

 

Most of these factors release VOC's (volatile organic compounds) and PM (particulate matter) which are toxic. VOC's if released in open surroundings have a pretty minimal effect but inside the house, their concentration remains high as almost everything in the house releases these compounds.

 

Even in a closed house, you can easily find a speck of dust. One of the biggest contributors to indoor pollution is the kitchen. The cooking methods like frying and roasting generates many inhalable vapors and aerosols.

LPG combustion fuel contributes to nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, organic compounds, sulphur, and particulate matter. It's not surprising that indoor air pollution caused by indoor fuel-burning kills 1.6 million people each year. 

 

The furniture of the house emits xylene and toluene along with VOC's which are again hazardous.

 

The garbage and basement areas are the most dangerous as they release radon and carbon monoxide. Radon gas is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. When the uranium breaks down, the radon gas seeps up and gets into buildings. Radon is especially dangerous because it is both colorless and odorless, which makes it impossible to detect without special testing equipment. 

 

Humid bathrooms and kitchen are susceptible to molds and bacterias.

 

Dust mites, pet dander, mold, mildew, airborne bacterias, and other such living creatures pollute indoor air and their effects may be as benign as triggering allergies or may be as dangerous as causing infectious diseases. 

 

So now the question arises on how to deal with the problem of indoor pollution. So here are a few suggestions.

 

  • Vacuum your house regularly.
  • Use dust mite covers for pillows and mattresses.
  • Keep pets out of the sleeping area and off the furniture and carpet.
  • Use chimneys in the kitchen while cooking.
  •  Houses should have a proper ventilation system, pollutants should get the way out to escape. Ventilation in the bathroom, kitchen, and basement is a must.
  • DIY Test kits are available to check radon so use these kits to have a proper check on this gas. Keep in mind - Radon is the most important cause of lung cancer after smoking.
  •  Dry bathroom and kitchens to avoid the growth of molds.
  • Technology has advanced and companies are trying to solve the air pollution problem through air purifiers, so if you find that the quality of air inside your home is quite unsuitable than invest in the air purifier. 
  • Throw the waste and unwanted products out of the house.
  • Consider the most powerful weapon to fight the spiking levels of Indoor pollution and that is planting the Indoor plants. It is the cheapest and the most effective way to get rid of pollutants to a large extent.

 

 Plants not only make the house look beautiful but also help in protecting us from the hazardous results of indoor pollution. There are varieties of plants available in the market which can be kept indoors. Let me share a few with you with their benefits.

 

Chemical sipper bromeliad is found to be effective to remove six highly toxic chemicals from the air.

Plant aloe vera as it filters out benzene and formaldehyde.

The Other recommendation will be for Spider plant as NASA research states that it is one of the best indoor plants to remove formaldehyde, xylem, benzene and carbon monoxide.

Another beneficial plant is a snake plant as it filters out formaldehyde and Nitrogen dioxide.

You can also opt for a bamboo plant. If you don’t have much space try a tall thin plant like the Areca Palm or the Dracaena.

 

It is advisable to fill up the houses with natural options.

Save your life and the life of your loved ones with a bit of awareness on how to tackle indoor pollution issues.

If you have a suggestion, mention them in the comment box.

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kriti
Member since Jan/2019

Blogger , Writer and author of Curious Mind

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