The growing importance of indoor air quality

It is an undeniable fact that air is fundamental to survival and yet there is remarkably little awareness about the health consequences of poor quality breathing air. India tops the list of most polluted cities in the world. In fact, 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world are in India, where particulate matter (PM) was at “dangerous” levels, according to the 2021 World Air Quality Report, which was aggregated by IQAirVisual, an organization that monitors international air pollution.

Air pollution knows no boundaries and can negatively affect everyone both indoors and outdoors. Furthermore, it is almost shocking to know that indoor air quality is many times worse than outdoor air. According to the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution is one of the main contributing factors to illness and premature death. This pollution in a home or office arises from air being polluted by multiple seemingly harmless sources such as surface cleaning fluids, aerosols, cooking, bacteria from damp or humid environments, etc. Gases and minute particles from office machines such as laser printers, copiers, correction fluid can release microscopic particles and volatile organic compounds that can penetrate deep into the lungs.

The pollutants become trapped in our indoor environments over time and prolonged exposure to these harmful substances can have serious consequences for human health and well-being. These can range from respiratory ailments to respiratory infections, throat allergies and even vision problems. Given that we are currently dealing with a significant wave of viral diseases, the level of pollution we live with can be alarming.

While we have very limited ways of controlling the quality of the outside air, we certainly have more power when it comes to regulating the air in our homes or offices. This can be achieved through a combination of organic methodologies and with the use of technology. Placing purifying plants such as the peace lily, spider plant, aloe vera, or ivy in the home and office can help purify the indoor air to some degree. Some essential oils such as pine, thyme and eucalyptus are known to fight bacteria in the air. Using a chimney in the kitchen and an exhaust in the bathroom will also ensure that the air in a room is recirculated.

However, in today’s world, for complete peace of mind, we can turn to technologically advanced solutions to deal effectively with trapped air. An air purifier can offer a total solution. Smart air purifiers automatically monitor and measure the air quality around us and allow us to manually or automatically adjust the level of purification required. Some premium models come with an app that lets you control your environment remotely.

Smart air purifiers automatically monitor and measure the air quality around us and allow us to manually or automatically adjust the level of purification required. Some premium models come with an app that lets you control your environment remotely.

The advanced multi-stage filtration technology found in air purifiers can capture and eradicate bacteria, allergens and even viruses with nearly 100% effectiveness. Superior, high-efficiency particle-absorbing and high-efficiency particle trap (HEPA) filters can capture hazardous and extremely small particles in the air.

It is important to invest in a high quality product to ensure you get maximum benefit and comfort from an air purifier. Choosing products that are portable, have an elegant design and are not obtrusive on the auditory level is a great value for ease of use, comfort and aesthetics.

If you have a pet or pets that are losing hair, invest in a premium vacuum cleaner and, for best results, use it along with an air purifier that can trap dander. Loose pet fur can be hidden all over a living space and can cause allergies such as sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and shortness of breath. Using a strong, pet-friendly vacuum cleaner with a powerful air purifier is a great way to maintain air quality and well-being in your home.

Identifying and repairing areas in your space that could be a breeding ground for harmful substances such as mold is an absolute must for effective irradiation. Mattresses and bedding should be cleaned regularly to ensure the health and hygiene of the household.

In a post-Covid world, Indian consumers have developed an increased susceptibility to indoor air pollution due to volatile organic compounds, micro-dust, bacteria and viruses and recognize the benefits of air purification. This is especially true for those who have children or the elderly in the house. Workplaces and offices are also becoming more aware of the need to invest in products and solutions that have a minimal negative impact on the environment. Air purifiers that meet these requirements will be more accepted in the future.

To ensure a happy and healthy future for our loved ones and for the generations to come, we need to raise awareness and take action to improve the overall quality of life and the quality of the air we breathe.



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The above views are those of the author.



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