Indoor air quality plays a vital part in leading a healthy life. The Covid-19 pandemic has confined us to indoor spaces for a prolonged period; a breath of fresh air is not always easily accessible. Poor air quality subjects us to various health risks as we go about our day-to-day lives; while we travel, engage in outdoor activities, and while at home. According to data aggregated by IQAir in 2020, India stands third among the most polluted countries in the world, and the Environment Protection Act in 1986 says that the levels of indoor air pollutants are often 2-5 times higher than outdoor levels, sometimes even higher.
While we are aware of what causes outdoor pollution, we need to understand the sources of indoor pollution and how it can be a major threat to our lives. The release of particles and fumes into the air and inadequate ventilation are two major causes of indoor air pollution. The World Health Organization states that indoor air pollution is one of the primary causes of disease and premature death in the developing world. Exposure to indoor air pollutants can lead to a wide range of harmful health effects among children and adults, from respiratory illnesses to cancer to eye diseases. India is one of the most populous countries in the world, and we have seen an increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases over the last few years.
According to experts, air pollution caused by firecrackers increases the risk of mortality among COVID-19 patients and also harms those who are recovering from the virus. Last year, according to SAFAR, the government-run monitoring agency and Central Pollution Control Board, certain parts of India were under the red category for air pollution during the festive season.
The most common way for pollutants to travel indoors is through doors and windows. Higher temperature and humidity levels are also reasons for bad air quality in a confined space. All of these together result in bad air quality in the safe space we consider home.
Why are air purifiers important for every home
We often consider our homes the safest place in the world. With the increases we’re seeing in air pollution, this may be misguided. In the current situation, indoor air is considered five times more polluted than outdoor air. As we now spend the majority of our time indoors harmful pollutants in our home can lead to several health issues such as breathing difficulties and skin problems. Since wearing a mask inside our homes is not ideal, tackling indoor air pollution is a necessity, and air purifiers have a vital role to play.
The air we breathe contains several particles that are not visible, including substances that are detrimental to our health. Air purifiers have advanced filtration systems that are capable of netting harmful particles suspended in the air. The most efficient air purifiers on the market feature advanced filters that have close to 100% efficiency. Air purifiers with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can capture the smallest and invincible airborne particles found in the indoor air we breathe. This can help prevent allergies and fight asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Foul smells or odors in and around our surroundings can also be caused due to particles in the air. Investing in an air purifier could be a long-term solution for such issues. Odors from cooking, water damage, and flooding can easily contaminate our indoor air. If left unattended, water damage can create an ideal breeding ground for dangerous mold to grow. A good-quality air purifier will filter your air and remove odors and mold spores, leaving you with clean air to inhale.
Babies and kids are prone to develop diseases faster than adults and preventing early chemical exposure are critical. Researchers believe that disease is an ongoing process in the body that may take years to evolve from the earliest stage. Hence, a fetus or newborn exposed to such a toxic environment early on will have a high chance of developing a disease later in life – since it will have more time to evolve.
With the festive season behind us and the arrival of winter, pollution in India has reached its peak. The PM 2.5 concentration in India is currently 10 times above the World Health Organization’s guidelines. With the pandemic still lingering, we are likely to spend 80 – 100 % of our time indoors. Outdoor air quality is becoming worse by the day and the Air Quality Index is extremely poor. Trapped airstreams in our homes need to be addressed with solutions that are technologically advanced and effective. While air purifiers may not make visible changes to our environment, advanced technologies and inbuilt monitoring systems can keep a track of the quality of air that is around us and improve the quality of our lives by filtering the air.
In conclusion, indoor air pollution is a serious issue that needs to be addressed on priority before it becomes a crisis. Unlike outdoor air, the air inside our homes can be monitored and filtered with the help of new-age technology. Using technology to improve the quality of human life has been the aim of several researchers and technology-based companies for the past few years. We need to create awareness and take significant steps to build a happy and healthy future for ourselves and the generations ahead of us.
Sooraj Balakrishnan, head of marketing, Acer India