As the air quality dips in major parts of the country, a piece of common advice we are given is to stay indoors and avoid stepping out unnecessarily. But is our home really the safe space we expect it to be?
Unfortunately, no. While the indoors are more controllable, the air inside is only very marginally better than outdoor air pollution, as FIT had previously reported.
This is especially worrying in the current context, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant work-from-home routine ensuring we stay in.
As we spend the majority of the day inside, how do we best protect ourselves within the walls of our homes?
Dr Priyanka Kulshreshtha, the Joint Secretary of the Society for Indoor Environment had told FIT, “It’s important first to know where the sources are in your homes.”
Dyson engineers along with SGS China, an independent advanced testing establishment, conducted a study on indoor air quality for Delhi NCR homes using Dyson technology to shine a light on the dirty truth behind our so-called safer indoor havens. So what are the main sources of toxins indoors?
Paints, carpets, cleaning agents and building materials all have formaldehyde, a common gas that causes plenty of irritation in our throats, eyes, nose and throat.
Dust mites in carpets, mold in the corner of our homes and airborne bacteria can all contribute to making our homes as toxic as the outside!
Tips to Keep Indoor Pollution in Check
The most important point here is to declutter and clean your house regularly to avoid the accumulation of dust or toxic chemicals.
“A lot of the pollutants are already inside and the problem lies when they are being re-suspended. In India, this happens a lot when we do the daily sweeping of our houses. I would advise mopping to make sure the particles do not get suspended and cause irritation,” Dr Kulshreshtha says.
She suggests going back to how our grandparents used to live and clean via ionization.
In a video with FIT, Kamal Meattle, CEO of ‘one of the healthiest buildings’ in Delhi, Paharpur Business Centre, and an environmental activist, taught us how to grow fresh air inside our homes.
“The pollution levels in Delhi are so high that perhaps, it’s better to use technology like hepa filters. But let the plants do what machines cannot do, namely, reduce the volatile chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene,” he said.
There are three very common plants that will help you do that: Areca Palm, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or Sansevieria and Money Plant.
You can watch the video for more details here.