Tips to minimise indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution is easily manageable provided the indoor environment is kept clean and free of common polluting substances like aerosol sprays, air freshners and scented candles.
Add more plants to your decor and keep a tab on your appliances to keep a check on the indoor pollution at your home, say experts.
Plants not only brighten up a space, but also are a source of fresh air. These Indian plants: Areca Palm, Mother-in-Law's Tongue and Money Plant (all common names) will actually grow fresh air for you indoors.
No smoking should be allowed inside homes. Smoking and second hand smoke are the biggest contributors of air pollution indoors.
Ensure you use low VOC (Volatile organic Compounds) paints in your home, which ensure that toxic gases and substances are not released indoors during hot/cold variations in temperature indoors.
A common problem that is not addressed indoors is fixing your water leakages. Very often, we ignore water leakages into the home, which then allow the growth of fungus, mould, and mildew, which causes or worsens conditions such as asthma, wheezing, and sinus. Taking precautions such as fixing of leakages, maintenance repairs to prevent loss of heat/ cold indoors, will ensure better air quality inside.
Keep a tab on your appliances. Appliances like your refrigerator and oven can emit harmful gases without regular maintenance. Make sure you take up the scheduled services and have a professional look at your devices 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 also the roof of tall furniture sets. In this scenario, a deep cleaning can reduce the risk of dust particles that can become irritants.
Open the windows. The air at home can be more harmful as it can high concentration of pollutants compared to the outdoors. Keep your windows open for 5-10 minutes daily or strategically place ventilation ducts to tackle the issue. Sunlight and ventilation can go a long way to keep you and your family healthy.
Another good idea is to minimise the use of pesticides at home. Use bio-friendly products instead. Limiting the number of toxic products you introduce in to your indoor air will also make the space as less polluted as possible.
Make sure your gas stove is well-ventilated. While cooking at home, it is important to ensure the gas stove is well ventilated to limit the production of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons produced due to incomplete combustion. These gases are not healthy indoors and pose serious health risks in the long-term.
Install exhaust hoods or fans in the kitchen and bathroom to reduce humidity. Humid air in the kitchen and bathroom increases the exposure of the indoor occupants to mold and mildew. Molds carry tiny particles that can enter the body and result in serious illness such as colds, persistent coughs, and even fungal infections. The installation of exhaust hoods and fans in the kitchen and bathroom will help reduce exposure.
Get rid of odors; don't mask them. Most people usually try to avoid indoor odors by masking them with artificial fragrances and air fresheners. It simply worsens the problem because the artificial fragrance or air fresheners contain VOCs and phthalates which can harm your health even more. Instead, find the source of the odors and eliminate, and clean the area with homemade cleaners or with baking soda.
Remove carpeting if possible. Carpets act as a harbor for small dust particles and pet dander which increases indoor air pollution. The dust particles from carpets are associated with chronic lung problems such as asthma and persistent coughs. Removing the carpeting is a sure way of reducing indoor air pollution.
Keep trash covered. Covering trash aids in keeping away pests and insects. It is part of critter management which will reduce the need for the use of pesticides and other artificial critter elimination chemicals. As a result, it will reduce indoor air pollution by reducing toxic substance emission from the artificially manufactured critter management products.
Minimise clutter. By minimising clutter, it is easier to manage the accumulation of dust that carry bacteria, mold, mites and fungi which significantly reduces indoor air pollution from these sources.