When you think of pollution, what’s the first thing that comes onto your mind? Common response would be air pollution outside such as car exhaust or smoke from a fire, littering and or noise pollution. These examples are all well-known outdoor signs of pollution. What may surprise you is right under your own roof is grounds for pollution. Surprisingly experts say most of our air pollution we are exposed to happen indoors.
As the Covid 19 global pandemic forced lockdown last year 2020, one temporary but positive thing that came out of it was a reduction in outdoor pollution. Which makes sense right?! Nobody is outside so very little toxins are in the air. As the country opens backup be sure those toxins will increase again. This leaves us to inside! Who would of thought? And what could possibly cause such danger?
Although the focus when it comes to pollution is always outside and due to the global lockdown according to (EPA) environmental protection agency indoor pollutions are at a higher rate than normal. On an average we spend 10% of our time outdoors and 90% indoors; this is according to a professor of indoor chemistry at University of York.
There are two lethal types of pollution that can be found indoors. Nitrogen Oxides and Nanoparticles these are the tiniest particles minuscule that they can sail through not only the walls of your lungs and into the bloodstream but around closed doors and into homes. Other indoor pollutants are known as asbestos, biological pollutants, carbon monoxide, lead and pesticides.
Where do they come from you may be asking yourself. Indoor pollution comes from cooking, cleaning, fire places when lit and candles. Studies show that cooking a thanksgiving dinner could produce higher levels of PM2.5 than are found in one of the most polluted cities in the world, Delhi. PM2.5 = fine particulate matter.
To help eliminate the amount of exposure open windows, use extractor fan, use cooking vents, keep rugs clean, control humidity in your home and you can also buy indoor plants to freshen the air.
DID YOU KNOW? Around 3.8 million people a year die from the exposure to household pollution. This is according to the world health organization.
Some illnesses linked to poor indoor air quality are:
· Lung cancer
· Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
· Cardiovascular disease
Ways to tell if your indoor air quality is bad are:
· Coughing or difficulty breathing
· Sneezing or allergic reactions
· Skin dryness or irritation
· Headaches or nausea
· Inability to sleep
· Dust buildup
· Hot and cold spot
· Unpleasant odor
However while indoor air pollution levels may occasionally get high every household is different. And every person influences indoor air in different way according to their habits and activities. Be cautious when using candles and cleaning products don’t over use them.
As a society shifts more towards working from home due to the pandemic we will be spending more time indoors, the quality of over indoor air is more important than ever!