Air pollution is a major issue faced by the entire world. Not just outdoor, but indoor air pollution leads to a number of health problems. The indoor air is 5 times more polluted than the outdoor air and fuels approximately 4.3 million deaths. In recent years, indoor air pollution has emerged as a leading cause of different types of health issues in India. Pets, cooking fumes, household furniture, and electronic equipment, which are considered harmless are the major sources of indoor pollution. The toxic particles enter your respiratory system through the nasal tract and lead to respiratory problems. This makes it important to install an air purifier at home to keep the indoor air safe and pollutant-free. The blog discusses a list of diseases caused by indoor air pollution.
4 Common Diseases Caused by Air Pollution
Air Pollution is hard to escape and it is the leading cause of several serious diseases related to lungs, heart and brain. Let’s have a look at top 4 common health issues caused by indoor and outdoor air pollution:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Lung Cancer
- Cardiovascular Problems
Pneumonia causes inflammation of the air sacs either in one or both lungs. The air sacs fill up with pus or fluid leading to cough, fever, chills and breathing difficulty. Exposure to indoor air pollution doubles the risk of childhood pneumonia. In fact, approximately 45% of the pneumonia deaths among children who are less than 5 years. Indoor air pollution also increases the risk of acute lower respiratory problems among adults. This also contributes to approximately 28% of adult deaths.
2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Indoor air pollution also increases the condition of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is an inflammatory lung disease. COPD obstructs the flow of air in the lungs and also interferes with your breathing. Exposure to high levels of smoke, scented products, exposure to products and paints aggravate COPD. According to WHO, COPD causes approximately 25% of deaths in adults.
3. Lung Cancer
In addition to smoking, exposure to indoor air pollutants also increases the risk of lung cancer. The carcinogen agents, PM 2.5 present in the indoor air are closely linked to lung cancer. In fact, air pollution causes approximately 17% premature deaths in adults (Report by WHO). People who live or work in congested areas with little or no ventilation are at a higher risk of lung cancer.
Also Read: Easy Ways to Cleanse your Lungs
4. Cardiovascular Problems
Exposure to indoor air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Long-term exposure to pollutants such as PM 2.5 increases calcium build-up in the coronary artery, thereby worsening inflammation. The pollutants also cause premature aging of your blood vessels, which increases the chance of heart attack and strokes.
Problems for Expecting Mothers and Babies
Indoor air pollution results in hazardous effects among expecting mothers. It can result in a weaker immune system of the unborn baby. And there are chances that the child may suffer from lung or respiratory disorders after their birth. Not only this, but children also face the harmful effects of indoor air pollution. A child’s respiratory process works more actively than in adults. They breathe in more air, and hence inhale polluted air, resulting in respiratory and ENT – Ear, Nose, Throat infections.
Lessened Life Span
Indoor air pollution also hampers the lifestyle of a person. It badly affects the longevity of a person, and why not so, if one breathes polluted air even while being indoors, one cannot do much about it. Many types of research have proved that a person staying in a metropolitan city has three years lesser life span than a person staying in a rural area.
Preventive is better than cure
With the changing times, homo sapiens have started spending most of their time within the closed four walls. And with the indoor air becoming more and more polluted day by day, human beings are left with the only option of breathing polluted indoor air. But can we not have any preventive measures? Of course, we do have. Following are some of the preventive measures that one can opt to safeguard oneself from indoor air pollution:
- Keep your face covered all the time. It is advisable to wear a mask that comes with filters.
- Keep the windows of the vehicle closed while traveling.
- Make sure that your house has proper ventilation.
- Install chimneys in your kitchens, so that the smoke or grease doesn’t hover within the indoor space.
- Usage of an exhaust fan can help smoke or odor get out of the indoor space.
- Usage of Air Purifiers within the indoor space will remove the pollutants from the air.
The Bottom Line
Indoor air pollution is a serious issue that needs your attention. To stay safe from the harmful effects of indoor air pollution, make sure you install an air purifier. HEPA air purifiers catch and trap indoor air pollutants and keep your home safe.