Do you know? Air pollution consists of cancer causing agents! Major sources of air pollution in the environment are the harmful substances coming out from car exhausts, industrial chimneys etc. However, air pollution can be caused inside the houses too. What causes air pollution inside houses? How to prevent air pollution? Read on…
According to WHO every year 4.3 million deaths occur due to exposure to indoor air pollution and 3.7 million deaths occur due to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Air pollution is the introduction of harmful particles that cause damage to animal and plant life.
Indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution consists of pollution due to fine particles and carbon monoxide let out by traditional stoves. When people cook on charcoal, wood, coal, dung or crop wastes harmful substances are let out, this causes indoor air pollution.
Indoor air pollution can also be caused due to lead present in house dust, radon, formaldehyde, dust mites etc. Formaldehyde is present in plywood, paints, adhesives, cardboard, tobacco smoke, nail polish etc. Formaldehyde is a cancer causing agent. Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon can arise from cracks on the flooring or roof. It can also emerge from the shower in your bathroom.
Outdoor air pollution
Outdoor air pollution comprises of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, etc. Carbon monoxide is let out by the burning of fuels that happens in cars. It is also let out by heaters present in home, when not maintained properly. Nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter come from cars and power plants. Sulphur dioxide comes from burning of coal or oil in power plants.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer states that outdoor air pollution consists of cancer causing agents. They cause lung cancer and bladder cancer.
How to prevent indoor air pollution?
Indoor air pollution can be kept under control by following the below steps:
- Keep the floors clean: Vacuum your floors 2 or more times a week to suck up all the dust. Remember to wash the filter regularly. Mop the floor with water. Also leave a large floor mat at every door. It will reduce the dirt, pesticides etc from getting into the home.
- Maintain humidity: Dust mites and mold grow in humid conditions. While cooking use an exhaust fan or keep a window open. Fix a leaking tap immediately.
- Do not smoke at home: Cigarette smoke contains 4000 chemicals out of which 43 are cancer causing agents. Hence say no to smoking.
- Test for radon: Cracks in the floors can emit colourless, odourless radon gas. Radon gas leads to lung cancer. Hence fix any holes that you find on the floors.
How to prevent outdoor pollution?
- Save energy: Do not forget to switch off appliances when you leave your room. Less energy use means less carbon dioxide emission from the power plants.
- Refuel your cars in the evenings: Refuelling the cars in the evenings can reduce evaporation emissions which in turn reduces the air pollution.
- Don’t wait in long lines: Do not wait in long lines with your cars turned on. This will increase the air pollution. Instead switch off the car and walk down to your designated location.
Air pollution can lead to cancer! It can be life threatening. For more information, consult a family practice doctor online at eVaidya now!
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