Protect Your Home Indoors
Health issues weren’t much those days when we were young. Probably we can attribute it to clean air, nature friendly living and health conscious routines. A recent visit to my doctor made me come across a new type of ailment affecting people and she names it as lifestyle disease. Seeing me quite surprised by the term, she explained that it is quite prevalent among people these days, reasons being exposure to pollution and change in lifestyle. Allergic Rhinitis, Asthma, Wheezing have become a common occurrence among children in almost every household. Doctors attribute it to air pollution or the presence of unwanted things in the air we breathe which creates short term and long term impacts on our wellbeing. To a short survey on the topic with few friends of mine to know if we have any control over it, majority of the people answered a Big No. Their answer hovered around their incapacity to control vehicles emitting smoke or cigarette smoking in public and those burning trash in public spaces. Is that all? Is air pollution restricted only to outdoors? What about interiors? Is the air we breathe inside our home free from pollution? Most of them agreed that the air inside our homes are cleaner than outdoors. Sadly, in comparison, our homes are 5X times more polluted than outdoors. Our homes DO contribute a lot towards air pollution. It is a shocking piece of information but nevertheless true.
Here is how air pollution happens in our home and few steps we are adapting to reduce it and go for #CleanAirBeautifulHomes
The cleanliness freak in me makes sure we mop the house once in a day using a fragrant floor cleaner. There is a list of chemicals in the label and they do the job well. Our rooms have a lovely citric smell but the fact is the secondary effect of these fragrant chemicals is the formaldehyde created when the fragrant chemicals mix with air. Formaldehyde belongs to the category called volatile organic compound (VOC) and is carcinogenic and causes breathing difficulty when inhaled regularly. It is not wrong to be clean but look for those eco-friendly options based on neem on the counters, you can hardly smell it but it does its job without harming us. This applies to any chemical based cleaners, fresheners (room and car) also. It was a common practice those days to have flowers such as jasmine, rose, at home in the puja and women were encouraged to have stringed flowers on the hair. They acted as natural fresheners and if you notice these flowers do not have significant pollen as pollen in plants/trees during flowering season is another form of air pollution and a common cause of allergy among children. If you are looking for air fresheners, head to the natural way by saying it with flowers.
Truth is, on an average, even healthy youth can be affected by impure air
Poorly maintained air conditioners and air coolers develop mold and remains unseen but it contaminates the air whenever we operate it. Worse still is the fact that the room remains closed and in the absence of ventilation, we get exposed directly for hours enough to create a heavy impact on our health. Fans and chimneys in kitchen also accumulate dust and develop mold under humid conditions. Keep in mind that regular maintenance is the key to good health.
Paints and varnishes cover our entire walls and ceilings and we hardly pay any attention to it. These too emit VOC and imagining the span of it in every room, it is easy to estimate the impact of it on our health. Lot of discussions have taken place on Asbestos sheets and its contribution to diseases. Though it is alarming, we cannot go back to having bamboo sheets as walls or coconut leaves as roofs. We have moved far beyond in technology and standard of living and today activated carbon based paints that reduces formaldehyde and absorbs foul smell have found their way into the market. We pay so much attention to interior and exterior décor of our home but given the level of air pollution in our living space, it pays in the way of good health to identify ways to reduce it.
Bring in house plants such as Areca Palm, Aglonema, Sansevieria, Pothos, money plant, lucky Bamboo plant, Peace Lily, Dragon Lily indoors. These plants give out oxygen and removes toxicity in the air. Moreover, these plants are easy to maintain and add beauty to the décor, just keep them next to the windows.
Few points that help in reducing air pollution inside homes
- Install exhaust fan, electric chimneys or windows in the kitchen to help in preventing smoke from travelling into the rooms while cooking.
- Every inch of our home is painted and covers us entirely. Choose the paint that helps you in reducing indoor air pollution and that heavy paint smell for months.
- Keep a tab on regular maintenance of gadgets and appliances in use.
- Keep the home well ventilated and prevent usage of chemical based cleaners, fresheners and incense sticks that burn with smoke to release fragrance.
- Avoid mosquito coils and repellent liquids heavily loaded with chemicals. Install mosquito screens and use eco-friendly solutions. Many are available in the market today.
- Regularly vacuum your beds, a potential place for dust mites that cause allergy and remember we spend a considerable amount of time of our life on them.
- Get home indoor plants. Serves the décor as well as the environment.
Posted on September 18, 2017, in Editors Corner, home, lifestyle and tagged #CleanAirBeautifulHomes, air pollution, air purification, asian paints, formaldehyde, indoor air, royal atmos. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.