Deadly Effects Of Indoor Air Pollutants

The thought of air pollution brings into mind the outdoor air filled with toxic gases and particulate from vehicles and factories. But you will be stunned to know that the level of indoor pollution is way higher than outdoor air pollution. It happens when certain air pollutants from particles and gases contaminate the air of indoor areas. These air pollutants can cause respiratory diseases or even cancer. Removing the air pollutants can improve the quality of your indoor air.

What causes indoor air pollution?

There are quite few sources of indoor air pollution. The first is asbestos. Their use of asbestos has been banned in the US. It has been found to be linked to lungs cancer. They are most commonly found in coatings, paints, building materials, and ceiling and floor tiles. They are found in older homes that were constructed a long time ago before its use was proscribed. Newer homes will not have them.

Formaldehyde is another leading cause of indoor air pollution. Its production was stopped in the US after 1970. However, it is still found in paints, sealants, and wood floors. Radon which is generally found in various types of bedrock and other building materials can get into your house and put the health of your family at risk. If someone in the house is smoking, then smoke coming out of it can also pollute the indoor air. Germs and bacteria like mold, mildew, dust mites breed in the indoor air when the conditions are optimum for them. They can grow in your leaky and dirty ducts and gradually come indoors. The appliances in the house that run as a result of combustion give out harmful gases such as carbon monoxide as well as nitrogen dioxide. Sometimes due to backdrafting they get inside the house. The household products such as varnishes, paints, and certain cleaning products can also emit pollution into the air that you breathe inside your home

The stats of the effect of indoor pollution-

• Almost 12% deaths occur each year due to pneumonia. The household pollution aggravates the risk of pneumonia. More than half of the deaths of children below 5 years are due to acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI). ALRI is caused due to inhalation of toxic gases emitted by household solid fuels.

• Stroke kills 34% people each year. One of the root causes of stroke is long exposure to polluted indoor air.

• Ischaemic heart diseases accounts for 26% deaths each year. Household air pollution has been attributed as one the main causes of Ischaemic heart diseases.

• Lungs cancer kills 17 % people each year. The carcinogens found in household air that are released by solid fuels like wood, charcoal or coal cause this type of cancer.

Overall particulate and other pollutants in the indoor air cause inflammation of the respiratory tracts and lungs. They affect the immune system and bring down the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Household pollution has also been linked to low birth weight, tuberculosis, cataract, nasopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers.





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