New Delhi, 24th August 2018: According to statistics, indoor air pollution is the second largest killer causing about 1.3 million deaths in India each year. Indoor pollution is a serious health hazard, and in a country like India, it becomes increasingly important to address challenges associated with indoor cooking especially in rural areas. Indoor air quality can also deteriorate due to harmful chemicals and other materials and can be up to 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution.
Poor ventilation and structural designs can trap volatile organic compounds, bioaerosols, and particulate matter leading to many health ailments including impairment of lung function. What exacerbates the situation further is that in the absence of a policy on indoor air policy in India, it is difficult to measure the actual impact.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “People spend more than 90% of their life indoors. Over 50% of employed adults work in offices or similar non-industrial environments. This causes building-related illnesses largely due to pollution indoors. Some contributing factors include toxic or irritant chemicals such as cleaning products, volatile organic compounds, dust, allergens, infectious agents, fragrances, tobacco smoke, as well as extreme temperature and humidity. At present, there are no formal standards for indoor air quality in India. The health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.”
Some side effects of exposure to indoor pollution include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Apart from this, it can also cause heart diseases and cancer in the long term.
Adding further, Mr J K Chairman leading architects and Chairman Dacsnac said, “The problem of indoor air pollution can be a tricky one to solve. The ideal solution would be to open up all the windows and allow the indoor pollutants to escape. However, this is tougher in polluted cities considering the outdoor pollutants can also find way into the house.”
Heart Care Foundation of India, have taken up a campaign called ‘Indoor Air Pollution is Slow Poison’ as part of the 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela to be held between 24th and 28th October 2018 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.”
Some tips from HCFI
- Add more plants to your decor and keep a tab indoor pollution at your home. Plants are a source of fresh air and some examples include Areca Palm, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, and Money Plant.
- Avoid smoking inside the house and ensure that toxic gases and substances are not released indoors during hot/cold variations in temperature indoors.
- Taking precautions such as fixing of leakages, maintenance repairs to prevent loss of heat/ cold indoors will ensure better air quality inside.
- Appliances like your refrigerator and oven can emit harmful gases without regular maintenance. Make sure you service them at regular intervals.
- Regular dusting is important. Every home is prone to dust and dirt accumulation. While you clean your floors and upholstery regularly, you might miss out on the nooks and corners and the roof of tall furniture sets.
- Minimize the use of pesticides at home. Use bio-friendly products instead. Limiting the number of toxic products introduced into indoor air will also make the space as less polluted as possible.