When we talk about air pollution, we focus all our attention on the level of pollutants present in the atmosphere, neglecting the threat indoor air pollution poses to us. Awareness about air pollution has helped in controlling the emissions from various factories and industries. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in its latest report on air pollution statistics has pointed out that the toxic levels have decreased considerably over the past few years.
There is still a long way to go before we start rejoicing and it will take a sustained effort from all of us to realize the goal of pollution-free air. Although, there is considerable awareness about air pollution, what is rather surprising is that most of us are unaware about the threat indoor air pollution poses to us. Indoor air pollution is the contamination of air inside or around our homes and it has been listed as one of the five risk factors for public health. If it doesn't set alarm bells ringing consider these facts -
- Experts suggest that indoor air pollution is a much bigger threat than outdoor air pollution as we spend most of our time inside our homes and offices, and this exposes us to contaminated air for prolonged periods.
- World Health Organization (WHO) in its annual report stated that close to around 3% of all diseases are caused due to indoor air pollution.
- EPA in its survey has found out that 60% of the homes in United States pose a threat to its inhabitants including some life-threatening diseases.
These facts would have given you an idea on the danger that indoor air pollution poses to all of us. The good news is that there are numerous ways in which you can ensure that you and your loved ones are breathing in safe, pollution-free air. We will help you with some solutions, but before that it is important that we first have a bit of an idea about the causes of indoor air pollution.
Solutions to Indoor Air Pollution
The solution to the problem of indoor air pollution lies in its causes. One of the major causes of indoor air pollution is poor ventilation. It causes polluted air to stay inside for long durations, which when inhaled can expose a person to a risk of developing various respiratory diseases. Other sources of pollution are harmful pollutants like formaldehyde, asbestos and poly-chlorinated biphenyl (PCB).
All these chemicals are found in household products that you might have used or may use in near future. Although, asbestos and PCB have been banned from extensive use, these usually found their way inside your home through electrical and telephone cables, air conditioning systems, building material and furniture. Some other causes of indoor air pollution are radon, cigarettes and pesticides.
To reduce the level of pollutants inside your homes, you can seal all the sources of chemicals like asbestos and PBC. Another way to control the source of the pollutants is to adjust the place of appliances that cause indoor pollution. As mentioned before, half of the indoor air pollution is caused by poor ventilation. Relying on automatic conditioning systems all the time isn't a good idea and you should open doors and windows to let fresh air enter your home and replace contaminated air.
Using exhaust fans can also help a great deal in proper ventilation. Air cleaners can be of good help in the fight against indoor air pollution. There is a wide range of air cleaners available in the market and before choosing one you should do a bit of research. Air cleaners purify the air inside a building by filtering the mold spores, pollen, dander, etc.
Some simple things like smoking outside your home, cleaning your home on a regular basis and keeping your pets outside your living rooms can help in reducing the level of indoor air pollution. Awareness about indoor air pollution can go a long way in ensuring that the threat of indoor air pollution is curbed. We hope that the solutions mentioned above will give you some idea about the steps you can take to make your home a better place to live.