Indoor Air Pollution: How to Protect Your Children?
As the air particles get contaminated significantly due to the toxic gases and elements, the air inside our homes has also become equally polluted as the air outside our home. House is considered the safest place for your child. If that too becomes dirty and your children are not regarded as safe to live there, then that home is not the right place for your kid.
Scientists have developed several ways to purify the air inside our homes. However, there some factors to be taken care of that will aid in safeguarding all the people living inside your home. Let us take a deeper insight into this issue and how it can be taken care of with our efforts.
What is Air Pollution?
Air Pollution is a term used to describe the dust particles, smoke, and harmful gases and fumes contaminate our atmosphere. Air pollution makes life difficult as it brings about breathing complications. This contamination also results in distorting the natural balance as the addition of filthy odors, particles, and gases occurs in the atmosphere.
What Causes Air Pollution?
Air Pollution is caused as a result of both humans as well as natural actions. The natural events such as forest fires, natural radioactivity, volcanic eruptions, pollen dispersal, etc. lead to the addition of harmful pollutants into the air that further cause air pollution. Also, there are a number of human activities like emission of industrial waste, an increase in the burning of fossil fuels, hike in household chemicals, etc. that make the air polluted.
What Are The Effects Of Air Pollution?
As the pollutants in air increase, the air becomes unhealthy to take in. There are a plethora of health factors that get affected as the concentration of dangerous gases gets a boost.
When the smoke from chimneys increases, the air above becomes toxic leading to Acidification. This means that the rainwater that falls on the earth is a mixture of acidic compounds that harm the existing vegetation and plants, the natural stone buildings, and kill our wildlife.
The air can carry nitrogen particles and deposit them at the banks of rivers to contaminate the soil, disrupting the nutrient balance, and making the water bodies contaminated. As a result, algae development in rivers and water areas increases. And, there will be a reduction in the formation of flora as well.
The air pollutants consist of harmful particulate matter. Because of this, the risks of air-borne diseases such as lung cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diseases related to heart, brain, and kidney, etc. increases.
Tips To Prevent Air Pollution
A single person does not cause air pollution. Therefore, the steps to be implemented for its eradication should also be collaborative. Both Government agencies and common people should collectively join hands and stand against this menace to fight it. For Governments:
Use of Renewable energy resources than fossil fuels such as Wind Energy, Water energy, solar energy, etc.
Manufacturing of Cars and other fossil fuel vehicles must be reduced.
Indulge in environment-friendly activities like planting more trees etc.
Engage in 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) so that there is no use of developing new bottles, papers, clothes, etc.
Sharing of Vehicles so as to reduce the level of pollution or even using public transport rather than private so that there is no problem of pollution
What Is Indoor Air Pollution?
Indoor air pollution refers to the deterioration of health as the air inside our homes is contaminated by the presence of dust particles, smoke, smells, chemicals, etc. As compared to outside, indoors have less of the fresh air, which makes the air trapped inside the home having more concentration of air pollutants. Several studies point to the shocking fact that indoor air pollution can be 2-5 folds higher than that of outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution, thus, can bring about a serious negative impact on the health of the child ranging from asthma to cancer.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
Common pollutants that bring about indoor air pollution are:
Molds, fungi, bacteria, etc
Pests like cockroach
Products like paints, pesticides, mosquito repellants, etc
Second-hand tobacco smoking
Why Indoor Air Pollution Affects Children More Than Adults?
Indoor air pollution can potentially harm children more than an adult. This is because:
The children breath in and retain more air than that of adults
The lungs of children are less developed and cannot eliminate the polluted air from the system.
More pollutants in the system mean more toxins, which, in turn, if the child’s body fails to deal with, can bring about several adverse effects.
That is why some children spontaneously react when exposed to new carpet, paints, gets cleaning materials, mattresses, etc.
What Are The Symptoms Brought About By Indoor Air Pollution In Children?
Aggravation of asthmatic symptoms
What Is Air Quality Index?
Air Quality Index (AQI) is the measure (numerical value) that is used by different government organizations and agencies to describe the number of air pollutants present in the air. The more value of the index, the more is the level of air pollution that also represents the risk of making your health worse.
Green – Good quality- The numeral value between 0-50
Yellow – Moderate quality- The numeral value between 51-100
Orange – Unsafe for sensitive people- The numeral value between 101-150
Red – Unhealthy for all- The numeral value between 151-200
Purple – Very unhealthy- The numeral value between 201-300
Maroon – Extremely hazardous- The numeral value above 300
Tips To Prevent Indoor Air Pollution
As the internal air pollution can potentially harm the child’s health, it is very important to bring about awareness among the mothers. There are certain steps one can take to prevent indoor air pollution and maintain the healthy air quality of the indoors.
1. Open The Windows:
Now we all know the air inside the home is denser or rather more concentrated than that of the outdoor air. Therefore, opening the windows will allow the air inside to get replaced with the air outside. This will naturally bring down the levels of pollutants inside the room.
Keeping the windows and door open is very important during every instance that can produce high levels of pollutants. Example- painting the furniture or walls, putting in carpets, other home renovating projects. You should also open the windows of the kitchen while cooking.
2. Clean The Rooms Regularly:
Mopping: Use microfiber mops that catch dirt and dust more effectively. never use harsh chemicals like cleaning solutions
Vacuum Clean: Regularly (preferably twice a week) use vacuum cleaner to take off the dust from the corners, curtains, carpets, furniture, etc
Clean The Beddings: Running the pillows, bedspreads, quilts, etc. through a hot dryer will help to prevent the growth of the dust mites and other pollutants like fungi, molds, etc.
3. Plant Indoor plants:
Some indoor plants are found to improve the air quality of the indoor. There is a wide range of indoor plants you can select from. Such as Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, Gerbera Daisy, Dragon Tree, Pot Mum, Peace Lily, Spider Plant, etc.
4. Use Air Purifier:
The air purifier with dehumidifier helps to get rid of the allergens, dust, and toxins to a considerable extent from the indoor. It also helps to maintain the best possible humidity, thereby, steer clear bacterial & fungal pollutants from indoor.
Some Additional Air Pollution Facts for Children
It is estimated that 20,000 liters of air are breath in every day. This means more indoor pollution, and more toxins are taken into the lungs.
Around 1.3 Million dies prematurely every Year In India Due To Indoor Air Pollution
In almost 50% of pneumonia deaths reported among children (under five), the main culprit was the particulate matter inhaled from indoor air pollution.
Indoor air pollution can also happen inside cars!
As the indoor air pollution impacts children more than adults, it is necessary to control it to safeguard the children from pollution. It is better to opt for these simple tips that help in preventing human beings from harmful dust and gases than facing the consequences that are not good.