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Indoor air pollution and its impact

We all know the harmful effects air pollution has on our health, but when we think about air pollution, we only consider the smoke from factories and cars. However, this is known as outdoor air pollution and only accounts for half-damage of air pollution. Indoor air pollution is more dangerous and harmful than outdoor air pollution due to how concentrated the air is in indoor environments. Indoor air pollution is caused when certain particles and gases that come from burning, cooking, and heating contaminate the air in indoor areas. The impact of indoor air pollution is 3.8 million deaths worldwide each year from diseases such as stroke and lung cancer. 

Millions of people around the world prepare food using traditional methods – burning of woods, charcoal, coal, dungs, crop wastes on open fires. This causes indoor air pollution and people living in such poor households may suffer from serious health problems. Burning of things is not the sole reason for the harmful accumulation of toxic particles in our houses, other causes of indoor air pollution are:

  • Asbestos is six fibrous minerals that are found in coatings, paints, building materials, and ceiling and floor tiles. Asbestos is found in old houses or ancient constructed structures. Exposure to asbestos causes several cancers and diseases and it is the leading cause of indoor air pollution. It is banned in the US.  
  • Another leading cause of indoor air pollution is formaldehyde which is found in paints, sealants, and wood floors.
  • Radon is a chemical element that is found in various types of bedrock and in some building materials. It can also get into walls of houses. 
  • Tobacco Smoke comes from outdoor and indoor areas can also be an indoor air pollutant.
  • Many contaminants such as mildew, mold, bacteria, dust mites that grow in damp environments can be bought in from outdoor areas. Animal dander can cause various respiratory diseases. 
  • The main causes of indoor air pollution are objects such as wood stoves, space heaters, and fireplaces which put out carbon monoxide as well as nitrogen dioxide.  

Effects of indoor air pollution can be life-threatening and can have harmful effects on the lungs, eyes, and brain. Kids and old age people are more prone to the after-effects of indoor air pollution. The most damaging impact of indoor air pollution. 

  • Lung cancer, mesothelioma
  • Asthma symptoms, throat irritation, flu
  • Defective cardiovascular system
  • Allergic reactions
  • respiratory irritation, pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema
  • headaches
  • upper respiratory congestion

Easy Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality:

  • Checking ingredients of all the chemical substances present in the house. 
  • Have your home checked for asbestos, especially when you move into a new house. 
  • Stop using gas stoves and coal burners that create open fires 
  • Have your home inspected for any mold, radon, or any other harmful chemical or bacteria that may be in your home.
  • Small areas and corners of the houses must be thoroughly cleaned and it is very important to clean the house every day.


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