We all are quite aware of outdoor pollution that we all suffer. But how much time do we spend outdoors. People spend most of the time indoors. Well not much spoken we suffer few risks staying Indoors too. Indoor air quality affects health, well-being and performance of residents.
Remember Deepika Padukone’s Asian Paints commercial ad!!! She wears a mask staying Indoors… the advertisement only talks about the paint. There’s a lot more than just paint.
Here we shall discuss the risk factors for the Indoor Air Quality staying in enclosed areas.
- There is decrease in Oxygen level and increase in Carbon Dioxide level staying in enclosed space.
- Similarly, there is change in weather too. There is increase in temperature, humidity (dampness) or dryness (depending where we stay).
- For those staying near water bodies and sometime not are risked to unseen, unprotected bio-aerosol and foul smell.
To top it there is constant accumulation of air pollutants due to above reasons that can lead to major health diseases.
What are these elements that affect resident’s health Indoors?
- Major source is fuel burning combustion appliances.
- Building material like Paint, POP, Cement etc.
- Home Furnishings
- Household cleaning products like acids. Sometimes personal care and other materials like Perfumes, powders, gums and others.
- Another major source is heating and cooling systems i.e. Air Conditioners, Heaters, Humidifiers and devices.
- Tobacco products
- Immoderate Moisture
- Bird waste and droppings, especially pigeon’s isn’t said to be good for kids.
- Outdoor sources like Pesticides and other Outdoor Air Pollutants. This includes various harmful gases like NO2, CO, VOC, Excessive CO2, and many more.
Unknown, Unsaid and Unaware Harmful Effects of Indoor Air Pollutants
- Residents or occupants in building often experience Sick Building Syndrome.
What is Sick Building Syndrome?
- The sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe a situation in which, the occupants of a building experience acute health- or comfort-related effects. And this seems to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. No specific illness or cause can be identified. The complainants may be localized in a particular room or zone or may be widespread throughout the building. This disease can prove quite harmful as it cannot be clinically diagnosed.
Other health effects that may show up at intervals due to continues or even one-time exposure to Indoor pollutants. Like, irritation of nose, throat, eyes, headaches, fatigue, Skin problems, nausea, etc. One could also develop major diseases like asthma.
- It could also lead to long term problems like respiratory diseases, Major heart problems and even Cancer.
How do we deal with these Unknown, Unseen Indoor Air Pollutants?
- Enhanced Ventilation – Proper Ventilation and coverings at windows can assist controlled Temperature Indoors. Good ventilation also helps get rid of indoor airborne pollutants. Best way to do this is to Open all windows and doors of rooms in your houses.
- Control Sources – Another most effective way to improve Indoor Air Quality is to remove known indoor sources. If not completely get rid of it atleast reduce their emissions.
- Control Moisture level – One can control humidity level using humidifiers easily available these days. Also cleaning such sources and particularly mold growth areas is extremely necessary. Mold growth happens on porous materials like ceiling, wood, dry walls, etc. as rightly said Dampness is a silent killer. So take care of it.
- Place Indoor Plants – Extremely economical and healthy trick is to place Indoor plants. As it is known that plants improve Air quality. They take away carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. There are Indoor plants that do not require soil. These can easily be grown in glass. Some of these plants are Money plant, Snake plant, etc.
- Maintain cleanliness in surroundings – Its also very essential to keep our homes, our premises clean. Clean appliances, furniture and furnishings on regular basis to keep dust and allergens away.
- Regularly Service Electrical Appliance – Regularly clean and service appliances like Air conditioners, Chimneys, Humidifiers to ensure correct working. Change filters regularly especially Chimneys, AC’s, Air cleaners to make sure the Indoor Air quality is not disturbed.