“Indoor Air Quality” is something which has been ignored by our society for a very long time. Now, when mainstream media has brought this topic into the spotlight people have started to pay some attention to it.
What is Indoor Air Quality…??
Quality of Air within homes, buildings, and structures are generally considered as Indoor Air. Air Quality is generally decided by checking the number of suspended particles in the air, biological contaminants, and chemical contaminants.
Indoor Air is generally considered as not to less polluted than the outdoor air, but that is not true in all the cases.
Several studies have shown that indoor air, in fact, is 2-5 times more polluted than the outdoor air. When we think about air pollution we imagine a big factory releasing huge smoke from its chimney, Vehicles releasing smoke from their exhaust on traffic signal and so on, but there is probably more polluted air within our house than the outside.
Importance of Indoor Air.
As Nowadays we spend significantly more time indoors so maintaining good air quality is crucial. Especially for children as they spend 90% of their time indoors.
Children are more active and perform more physical activity compared to an average adult, so children are likely to breathe more air in a given time as compared to adults.
Types of Contaminants.
As there are different types of contaminants, we have divided them into 3 main categories.
1) Biological Contaminants.
2) Chemical Contaminants
3) Solid/Liquid Suspended Particles.
Let’s See What are these,
1) Biological Contaminants:-
Biological Contaminants are Bacteria, Fungi, Viruses, Dust mites, Animal Dandrum. These are Biological Contaminants, can be controlled by cleaning the house regularly, fixing spots where moisture accumulates etc. Biological Contaminants are dangerous but their frequency of occurrence is low if take precaution.
2) Chemical Contaminants:-
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are organic chemicals. They include both naturally occurring chemical components and man-made chemical components, It includes tobacco smoke, chemicals used in wall pains, some upholstery. Furniture polish, floor carpet, and different cleaning and consumer products have chemicals in them.
This Chemical Contamination can greatly be reduced by avoiding indoor smoking habits, choosing chemical free paints, upholstery, carpet, and buying consumer products which are environment-friendly.
3) Solid/Liquid Suspended Particles:-
These are very tiny particles (7-10) nm which are light enough so they can suspend in the air freely. These suspended particles have more potential to get inside of our body very easily even if we are several feet away from the contaminant source.
Suspended Particles are generally come inside of the house from pets, perfume sprays, outside air carrying dirt, dirty shoes, and their frequency is much higher than other types of contaminants, hence they are much more difficult to deal with.
What Are The Dangers of Breathing Polluted Air…??
1) Short Term Effects.
2) Long Term Effects.
1) Short Term Effects:-
Headaches, Coughing, Sneezing, Watery Eyes, Fatigue, Dizziness, Respiratory Problems etc. These symptoms can be seen after just coming in contact with polluted air.
Usually, the Short Term Symptoms are ignored by many, but over the time these Symptoms turn into Long term Effects, discussed below.
2) Long Term Effects:-
Longer Exposure to the polluted air results into some serious illnesses like,
2) Severe Lung Disease
3) Eye injury
4) Weight Gain
6) Autoimmune Diseases.
Let’s See how These Illnesses occur due to Polluted Air.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 20-30 percent of all the respiratory Diseases are the result of Ambient and Indoor Air Pollution. As Respiratory pathway is a key passage for pollutants to enter in our body.
By Ignoring the Importance of Indoor Air Quality, More than 20 Million Adults and 6 Million Children are Affected by Asthma.
2) Severe Lung Disease:-
An article publishes by Physicians For Social Responsibility strongly suggest that Long Term Exposure to the polluted air is one of the causes of Lung Cancer.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is strongly linked to Indoor Air. Damage to the lung causes COPD. There are millions of tiny particles in the air called “Irritants”
Damage to the lungs can occur in 2 ways,
1) By Inhaling Small Amount of Irritant Over Longer Period of Time.
2) By Inhaling Larger Amount of Irritant Over Shorter Period of Time.
So maintaining Indoor Air Quality is very Crucial for keeping our Lungs Healthy.
3) Eye Injury:-
We know that ‘Eyes’ are one of the most important and fragile parts of our body, but it is also very vulnerable against suspended air particles called ‘Irritants’.
As Discussed earlier, Tiny particles are suspended in the air and some of them do have very sharp tiny edges, so whenever these tiny particles Enter into our eyes a feeling of itching occurs. For this itching we rub our eyelids, using fingers. This leads to rubbing effect between our eyeball, irritant particle and with our eyelid.
Now whenever such irritant enters in our eye we do the same thing of rubbing, but beware, doing this again and again over a longer period of time can damage your eye and could lead to even partial Blindness.
4) Weight Gain:-
Can You Believe It…?? You must be thinking, how Weight Gain could be related to the Polluted Indoor Air…??
Here is the truth, A Study Published in The Journal of Federation of American Society For Experimental Biology found that when 2 Groups of rat fed the same diet, but in different Indoor Air Environment, showed surprising results
The group which breathed in more Polluted Indoor Air, gain more weight than the group who breathed in a Clean and Filtered Air.
This Study shows how our body responds when we breathe polluted air and changes the natural way our metabolism works.
As many as 8 out of 10 Analyzed research shows a significant relation between Depression and Polluted Air on Long Term Exposure.
A Study Done by The Yale University of Public Health found as well that, Increase in Air Pollution was Linked to the Increase in the Levels of Depression.
6) Auto-Immune Disease:-
Nowadays, Diagnosis of Auto-Immune Disease has Increased dramatically. In Auto-Immune Disease Body’s Own Immune System Attacks its own body organs.
One Canadian Study Shows Increase in The Cases of Auto-Immune Disease could be Related to the Increase in Air Pollution.
Another Study Shows Solid Particles from the Diesel Engine increases Inflammation in the Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients. Such Solid Particles are suspended in air and, could end up inside of our homes.
How To Prevent Air Pollution In Our Home..??
- Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Ingredients in Your House.
- Maintaining Good Home Hygiene.
- Getting Rid of Moulds and Fungi.
- Maintaining Adequate Ventilation.
- Having a Powerful Home Air Purifier.
You Must Have Read Several Times About a Home Air Purifier, but What is a Home Air Purifier, how does it Work, and What Are The Huge Benefits of Having a Good Quality & Powerful Home Air Purifier…? Click Below to read.
The Main Takeaway…
Maintaining a Quality Indoor Air is very crucial for our general well-being, As we are always concern about the pollution we face outside and we take appropriate action to protect ourselves from it, Likewise Indoor pollution is also as harmful as outdoor pollution and we must take precaution of not polluting it and making sure that the Indoor Air is Clean and Filtered for Breathing.
Happy Breathing To You…!!