Who doesn’t like breathing in fresh air or the feel of fresh air on their face? Far from being fresh, the outdoor air in towns and cities in India is very polluted.
But, have you ever wondered how clean is our indoor air? A recent article in Business World says that almost 1.3 billion people die annually in India due to indoor air pollution. While one may say that the article focuses more on rural areas, it doesn't mean that the indoor air quality in cities is any better. Rampant constructions, burning in farms, an increase in the number of vehicles all contribute to poor air quality indoors and outdoors.
Indoor air pollution (read the causes here) is a silent killer having detrimental effects on our health. Let us understand better the health issues or illnesses that can be caused by indoor air pollution.
Low Grade Effects of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution does not manifest itself as a disease right at the beginning. There are some telltale signs and symptoms which we mistake as an allergy or cold. Few symptoms of indoor air pollution are:
- Watery eyes
- Upper Respiratory Congestion
These symptoms do not persist. You will notice that the symptoms vanish once you leave the polluted room or building. So, does the harm caused by indoor air pollution stop here? No! Staying constantly in a polluted environment can give rise to some grave diseases too.
Severe diseases caused by Indoor Air Pollution
Rhinitis: Rhinitis is basically inflammation of the nasal cavity lining. Rhinitis due to indoor air pollution is usually the non-allergic type. Symptoms include stuffy or a runny nose, sneezing, cough or a sore throat. At times non-allergic rhinitis lasts for longer periods and needs medical attention.
Asthma: Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways to the lungs. The condition makes breathing difficult. Asthmatic people also find it difficult to undertake certain activities. It is a common conception that asthma is more of a genetic disease. While that is true, indoor air quality is another leading reason for people to get affected with asthma. High levels of particulate matter, oxides of sulphur, tobacco smoke are some of the other reasons that trigger Asthma.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): This is a broader term used for a number of progressive lung diseases. Chronic bronchitis (inflammation of breathing tubes inside the lung), emphysema (alveoli in the lungs are damaged), and refractory asthma (a condition where medication also doesn't help) are the diseases that come under COPD.
While outdoor air pollution is the main reason for COPD, poor indoor air quality can worsen the condition of those suffering from COPD. This study published in the American Thoracic Society journal also reiterates that poor indoor air quality can complicate matters for those with COPD. In developing countries, women who do not use clean fuel in their homes are at a higher risk of developing COPD conditions.
Pneumonia: Pneumonia is basically a lung infection. In this condition, the lungs are inflamed and the air sacs inside the lungs get filled with water. Symptoms of pneumonia include chills, fever, cough, and phlegm while coughing. Pneumonia if not treated properly can also result in death. The World Health Organization in a report has said that indoor air pollution is a reason for almost 28% of pneumonia-related deaths.
Weakening of lung function and lower immunity: If the levels of air pollution are high over a period of time breathing the polluted air can weaken the lung functioning. Also, the dust particles can inflame the airways and lungs. This reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of blood and weakens the immune response in our body.
Safeguarding Against Indoor Air Pollution
So, is there a way that we can safeguard ourselves against this silent killer?
Yes, Dr. Charcoal’s non-electric air purifier is an effective way to protect ourselves and our family. The purifier basically has activated charcoal at its core that absorbs impurities from the air as well as bad odours. The purifier can be recharged by placing it in the sun and one bag lasts for at least a year. Dr. Charcoal’s air purifier is also eco-friendly. At the end of the year, the charcoal can be used as manure for your plants. Click here to know more or buy Dr. charcoal’s air purifier.
Unlike outdoor air, the air in indoor spaces cannot clean itself. It is in our hands to ensure that the indoor air quality is optimal for healthy living. So, before your body shows signs of indoor air pollution take a step towards cleansing your home and purifying it. Opt for non-electric air purifiers. Save the environment and your health too!