Indoor air pollution is a silent killer and up to 10 to 30 times higher than outside pollution

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Pollution can also trigger acute episodes in people with asthma and COPD

New Delhi, 06 October 2018: A recent study has found that during the day the air pollution inside homes can be worse than that outside. This is due to activities such as vacuuming, cooking, dusting or running the clothes dryer. The results can cause health problems, especially for the young and elderly with asthma. Researchers also learned that circumstances that made the air pollution worse differed in each home.

Most people spend 85% of their life indoors — inside homes or offices, commercial or industrial buildings or schools and colleges. With the increasing incidence of respiratory illnesses in the country, it is imperative to be aware of the health hazards of indoor air pollution. Some common sources of indoor air pollution include fire wood cooking, fire-based water heaters, indoor smoking, humidifiers with stagnant water, poorly maintained AC systems, and incense sticks.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Air pollution is an invisible killer, and in some homes, the indoor pollution levels may even be 10 to 30 times higher than outdoor pollution. From everyday consumer products and household habits such as paints, pet allergens to cooking gas can be an additional source of air pollution. It can impact most of the organs and systems of the human body. Lung is a major site of interaction with environmental particulates which can cause and aggravate many respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma, and lung cancer. Pollutants such as particulate matter can affect the lung in numerous ways causing inflammation, oxidative stress, and cell cycle death. Pollution can also trigger acute episodes in people with asthma and COPD.”

Public awareness is needed to tackle indoor pollution. HCFI has also undertaken a campaign against indoor air pollution at the 25th Perfect Health Mela to be held from 23rd to 27th October 2018 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The problem of indoor air pollution can be a tricky one to solve. The ideal solution would be to open up all the windows and allow the indoor pollutants to escape. However, this is tougher in polluted cities considering the outdoor pollutants can also find way into the house.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Control moisture at home or in offices
  • Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Clean home appliances properly and control dust
  • Keep carpets clean and dry. Wash pillows, blankets and bedding regularly at 60-degree Celsius
  • Prefer wood, tile or linoleum flooring rather than fitted textile carpeting
  • Vacuum cleaning or wet mopping must be preferred
  • Open your windows open when cleaning, painting and installing new carpet
  • Never burn charcoal indoors and do not keep burning heaters in closed rooms. Completely forbid smoking inside the house.
  • Avoid dust-collecting textiles and furniture
  • Avoid strong perfumes, aftershaves, deodorants and fragrant flowers inside the house