13th October, Bangalore: Breathing is the source of our life, and yet we are surrounded by polluted air. Environmental Protection Agency (US) Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study has found the level of a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside home than outside. This is true of both rural and industrialized areas. Shockingly, the most commonly used household products like Paints, disinfectants, moth repellents, air fresheners, stored fuels, human skin and hair, cooking and even dry-cleaned clothing can cause indoor air pollution.
Adding to the condition, houses located amidst busy streets and with pets are very likely to have particulate matter PM2.5 and PM10.
This leads to health problems that start with unidentifiable problems like coughing, irritation in eyes, asthma or wheezing and tiredness. But eventually they can lead to major health problems that can prove fatal.
Most of us stay indoors, either at work or home. We are constantly under the threat of polluted indoor air. Certain types of people like babies, old or sick, asthmatic people are more vulnerable compared to others. Prolonged exposure can lead to Stroke, Ischemic heart disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Lung Cancer.
Better indoor air quality, therefore is the key to better health. This calls for monitoring the air quality levels. A good place to start is Air Quality (AQI) Index at http://aqicn.org/map/india/ to know the level of PM2.5 in your own city.
However, here are some general tips to keep the air clean:
1. Cleaner spaces inside: Air filters can be fitted to wall mounted AC to clean the air of PM2.5 and PM10.
2. Install Air Purifier: It needs a separate space but they are worth installing.
3. Go green: Plants like Peace Lily, Dracaena, Spider Plant and others are natural air purifiers.
4. Don’t add to pollution: Festival is round the corner and it is ideal to keep a low key on crackers. Try to avoid smoking indoors.
Keep the air clean and for backup have your first aid in place, just in case.
Every breath matters. Act now.