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Indoor air pollution is very real and it can be 5 times or more worse than outdoor air pollution. From everyday consumer products and household habits such as paints, pet allergens to cooking gas, can be an additional source of air pollution. 

So, what now and how do we shield ourselves?

Air pollutants like particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead (Pb) can affect the lung in numerous ways like inflammation, oxidative stress, and cell cycle death.

They have been shown to trigger acute episodes in asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other allergic airway diseases associated with lung cancer.

Tips which will help us avoid indoor air pollution:

  • Say no to scented incense sticks and candles: After reading this you might think twice before lighting up those decorative candles. Studies suggest incense sticks and scented candles release undesired chemicals that can cause serious health problems like skin allergies and even heightens risk of respiratory cancer. 
  • Say yes to some greenery: Yes! Plants are your best friends. They provide fresh oxygen to our lungs and planting a few indoor plants in your home with help you breathe clean and off course it gives that extra punch to your indoor décor. So, go ahead, buy some beautiful indoor plants and give your house a chic look.
  • Remove carpeting if possible: Those aesthetic carpets and rugs can actually be a source of indoor air pollution. Carpets can capture a lot of pollutants such small dust particles, food which fall on the floor, pet hair, dust mites, pesticides, cockroach allergens and other dirt. These pollutants may become airborne while vacuuming or during renovations. Children are more exposed to these pollutants are they tend to play on the carpet. 
  • Indoor smoking is deadly: Avoid smoking Indoor. It affects not only the smoker but also people around them. While we are all aware about the harmful effects of smoking, it is deadlier indoor. Since there is no space for the smoke to go out so you tend to inhale the same air repeatedly, harming your nostrils and lungs.
  • Ensure good ventilation: Proper ventilation in your house will prevents air pollutants from affecting you and your family's health. Not only that, having a proper flow of air inside your home can help you get rid of all the unwanted smells arising from cooking or from carpets. Also, allergens such as dusts, pollen, and other irritants which tends to get trapped inside your house can be removed to a large extent if there is a proper ventilation.
  • Give away your plastic habits: Plastics are a major cause of air pollution. The by-products of plastics called microplastics are small pieces of plastic between the size of 0.1 micron to 5mm in diameter. These microplastics are immensely harmful to our health. Shockingly microplastics have found its way to our homes also. Their contributors can be simple things like erosion of synthetic carpets, synthetic clothing or cosmetics. Hence it is advisable to use less plastics products at home and switch to a sustainable way of life.
  • Get an air purifier: Air purifiers are the best way to clean the indoor air. In addition to investing in your health it can prevent microplastics, allergies and impure air from harming you and your dear ones.
- IANS