Most of us are aware of the harmful effects of the pollutants present in the air. But did you know that there are 10 times more pollutants present right in your household when compared to the air outside? In fact, indoor air pollution is the second highest killer in India, with an estimated death rate of 1.3 million people in a year. High blood pressure being the most deadly one and the outdoor air pollution occupying the fifth spot on the list, it only goes to prove that indoor air pollution is much deadlier and dangerous than the air outdoors.
Unlike most western countries, India doesn’t have any standards or mandatory rules regarding indoor air pollution. According to WHO, the norm for the particulate matter levels for indoor air pollution is 20 ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) whereas the average in India is 375 ug/m3. Because of such stark differences in these levels, environmentalists all over the country have been urging the policymakers to come up with national indoor air pollution norms.
If you’re wondering how it could possibly be that your house is home to so many pollutants, let’s look at each of the culprits -
Starting right from the fumes emitted during cooking, chemical products like air fresheners, perfumes and adhesives used in furniture, volatile organic compounds to the mold and asbestos found on the walls, all of them contribute towards reducing the quality of the air. Traditional methods of cooking and burning of incense sticks which is known to increase the concentration of particulate matter in the air up to 15 times more than the ideal level. Particulate matter - PM 1.0, PM 2.5 and PM 10 are small, tiny particles with diameters in the range of micrometres. They are present as pollutants in the air around us and because of their size, they easily get lodged in the respiratory tract and the lungs.
A recent study showed that more than 80% of Indian women, who tend to spend a lot of their time indoors involved in activities like cooking, are affected by air pollution where they experience difficulty breathing, lung irritation, cardiovascular diseases and even lung cancer in extreme cases. Another study done by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) found that 27.5% of the mortality among kids under the age five is a result of indoor air pollution.
With more and more studies like these highlighting the ill-effects of bad indoor air quality, it might be finally time for us to step forward and take some countermeasures to protect our loved ones from breathing toxic air.
You can start by keeping the doors and windows of your home open for a few hours every day for ventilation purposes. Make sure to keep the surroundings in your home dirt-free by cleaning on a daily basis.
The best thing you can do for your household is getting an air purifier that gets rid of the pollutants present in the air by using various filters. One of the best air purifiers we’ve found is Dr. Aeroguard air purifier. It consists of 9 stages of filters including anti-allergen, anti-microbial filter, active-HEPA filter, therapeutic filter that keeps the air free of large particles, microorganisms, VOCs, odour, pet dander etc. These modern air purifiers also release vitamin C and a combination of negatively charged ions which make the air healthy and energising to breathe.