Friday, September 15, 2017

Indoor Air Pollution - Getting rid of this menace

An important phenomena trending these days, and sufficiently so, even on online shopping sites is something called an air purifier. I bump upon one being advertised everytime I visit an online shopping site. Seeing something like this so often, I became interested in knowing what exactly is an air purifier and why is it required? I know the air outside is polluted, but why do I need one at my home? Is this really required? What exactly it purifies, since apparently the quality of air within my home is not as bad as one we see and read about everyday in news.
As I searched through the internet, I came to understand why almost every major consumer electronics brand is focusing on something like an air purifier. Appears what I was thinking was not correct. The air within my home is not as safe as I was expecting it to be. As I looked into this more, I came to understand what exactly is indoor air pollution, what are the common pollutants that I should be aware of, what are the health problems that are caused by these indoor pollutants and how can I keep my home safe of these indoor pollutants affecting my family's health.
So what exactly is indoor air pollution? We all know what pollution is? More often than not, we all must have heard and associated pollution to be an external problem. Air pollution in your city, water pollution of the rivers and so on. Coming to our homes, pollution that is within the confines of our homes is what indoor pollution is. I was shocked to learn that as early as in the year 1992, the World Bank identified indoor air pollution as one of the four most critical environmental problems being faced globally. One of the articles I read about this stated that this problem affects both rural and urban areas. While rural areas have a variety of different causes of air pollution, that include use of traditional sources of fuel including wood, charcoal and cow dung cakes. Other sources that contribute to indoor air pollution include agricultural activities, including storage of grains and livestock feed. Also, a shocking revelation that came up was the soil too was an important source of air pollution, as it naturally releases a gas called radon. A very critical air pollutant that is very strongly related to be Lung Cancer, being a radioactive noble gas. Other major pollutants include pesticides, tobacco smoking and asbestos among numerous others.
Urban areas are not very safe when it comes to indoor air pollution. While there are some common reasons, including tobacco smoking and often, asbestos, urban homes have a number of other causes of air pollution. These include pollutants like volatile organic compounds that originate from numerous solvents and chemicals used in the daily use products including deodorants and perfumes, hair sprays and cosmetics, paints and varnishes, air freshners, insecticides and such. Growth of molds and mildew during rainy seasons too are a cause of indoor pollution.
So how to get rid of this problem? Understanding the potential health problems that are there as a result of indoor air pollution, I sat down to find a solution. Found a few, and here are some starters to help everyone:
1. Clean the indoors regularly. This is something that can help reduce this problem to a large extent.
2. No Smoking Zone: Make your home a no smoking zone, if anyone does smoke there. You do not want passive smoking affect the health of your loved ones.
3. Introduce indoor houseplants that help purify air: Apart from giving your living room  a beautiful and fresh makeover, houseplants like garden mums, spider plant, dracaena, ficus/weeping fig, peace lily, snake plant, aloe vera can help you clean the air indoors and eliminate dozens of dangerous chemicals out of your home’s air.
4. Eliminate odours rather than hiding them: Your living room smells damp, and you don’t really like the smell there. What you do, reach out to that can of room freshner, and at the click of a button, you get pleasant smelling air running down your nose. That’s what you shouldn’t do. Just try to find out why your room smells that way, and try fix the root cause.
5. Get rid of that moisture: Molds growing within your house during, say, the rainy season are also a great cause of indoor air pollution. Just try to locate and eliminate the cause of this moisture seeping in and fix it.
While I looked on, I came across something called bags of charcoal, which, I knew was being used to purify water in a number of water purifiers. However this came to me as a surprise that charcoal can also help absorb dangerous fumes etc. from the air to make it clean. While looking for the charcoal bags, I bumped across a new product from Asian Paints called Royale Atmos, a product that is said to help purify indoor air. The product appears promising, since it contains activated charcoal. You can take a look on the advert here. To know more, you can check the site -


  1. pleasant bLog! its fascinating. much obliged to you for sharing.

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