When it comes to air pollution, we usually think of air outside the home or office. This is not the case every time, you will be amazed to listen that indoor air is also polluted. It means air quality within and around the building structures. In developing countries, indoor air pollution has been given more importance. Pollutant is any chemical or biological substance that contaminates the atmosphere, be it an external or internal atmosphere. Indoor air pollution is very dangerous things, because indoor air is far more concentrated with pollutants than outdoor air. According to a recent study, over 2 million deaths occur every single year due to indoor air pollution.
There are many sources of indoor pollution, but these sources are different for developing and developed nations. Let’s take a look at developing nation, how indoor air is polluted in these countries. Later on we will discuss how indoor air is polluted in developed countries.
The shared dilemma of developing countries
Indoor air pollution has far greater impact on developing countries than it does in developed countries. It is because of fuel, such as wood, charcoal, animals’ waste material. These substances are burned inside the home for cooking and heating purpose, especially in rural areas. Where kitchens do not have proper ventilation system. This result in inhalation of carbon monoxide and other contaminants by the residents of the home, especially the one who cooks. This air pollutant that has been resulted with the burning of fuel causes serious health related problems, such as pneumonia, cancer, heart attack, bronchitis, asthma and the list goes on. And the worst part is, more than half of the nations of most of the developing countries have no other alternative for cooking and heating. One of the surprising facts that indoor air pollutant from cooking and heating kill almost 1.6 million people per year.
Indoor pollution scenario among the developed nations
In developed countries the scenario of indoor air pollution is worst. Here contaminants are not produced from burning biomass, but they are totally different and extremely dangerous, such as tobacco smoke, radon (a type of gas that is present in the basement of homes) biological pollutants, carbon monoxide and other contaminants. Here, in developed countries, people have built proper ventilated houses, but even then they are failing in keeping themselves safe from indoor air pollution. Tobacco smoke is considered as the most dangerous air pollutant. Even if you are not a smoker, second hand smoking can cause serious health problems, because you are inhaling 4000 chemicals out of which majority are carcinogens.
Radon gas is also harmful, and after smoking it is the second leading cause of indoor air pollution. Radon is a dense, colorless, odorless gas that occurs naturally in the soil as the product of radioactive decay of radium. Although radon is a gas but its decay products such as radioactive polonium, lead and bismuth are solids. These solid particles attach to the dust particles and enter into our lungs causing serious health related issues such as emphysema, asthma, bronchitis.
Beside these, pollen, dust, pesticides ,mites, pet hairs are the pollutants that contribute greatly to indoor pollution.
So it’s better to keep your home inspected for these types of pollutant you can use a good vacuum cleaner that has strong brushes to keep out chemicals and allergens that can accumulate in your home. Moreover, most of the dirt comes from shoes, so it’s good to keep a large doormat out of every room that will reduce the amount of dirt from getting into your room. And above all try to make your home anti-smoke zone. Because nothing is more precious than healthy environment.