8 Ways in Which You Can Improve the Air Quality at Home
Often air pollution is thought of as a problem that is restricted to the outdoors. However, fact is that the air indoors is typically way worse than the air outdoors.
Here are 8 things you can do to ensure that your home is cleaner and healthier:
1. Indoor Plants
Indoor pollutants like benzene (found in plastics, fabrics, cigarette smoke, etc.), volatile organic compounds (VOCs; found in perfumes, hair sprays, furniture polish, etc.), formaldehyde and carbon monoxide to name a few, can cause severe damage to health.
Indoor plants can absorb a lot of these harmful chemicals that cause ‘sick building syndrome’. Its symptoms range from allergies, headaches and fatigue to nervous-system disorders, cancer and in worst case scenarios even death.
Plants like aloe vera, the boston fern and the rubber plant are easily available and are extremely efficient in killing indoor pollutants.
2. Air Purifier
Air purifiers have the ability to absorb harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, pollen, allergens, dust, and so on. These clean the air of the unwanted pollutants and make your home a cleaner place to live in.
3. Remove your shoes before entering home
This is solely in your hands. Removing shoes before entering your house, prevents dirt from outside that you would have otherwise walked in with.
4. Avoid using pesticides, aerosols, room fresheners, candles and nail polish removers indoors
They release VOCs that cause irritation in the eye, nose and throat. In more severe cases there may be headaches, nausea and loss of coordination.
5. Vacuum with HEPA filters
Vacuum carpets, rugs and mats using a cleaners that have HEPA filters. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air; it traps pollutants such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, etc.
6. Do not smoke indoors
Tobacco releases a lot of chemicals into the air and is known to cause cancer. You may not be a smoker yourself, but even second-hand smoke can have adverse effects on your health.
7. Use zero emission paints
Conventional paints include heavy metals, formaldeyde and VOCs. These VOCs are given out while painting and up to five years after the brushes have dried. So ditch these paints and opt for eco-paints that will ensure your better health.
8. Increase Ventilation
Open a couple of windows! Circulation of air inside the house is of utmost importance. Ventilation can control indoor humidity and airborne contaminants, both of which either contribute to or act as health hazards.
(With inputs from Jaidhar Gupta and Dr. Anumita Roy Choudhary)