Idea #13 | How to Fight Indoor Air Pollution

//Idea #13 | How to Fight Indoor Air Pollution

Idea #13 | How to Fight Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air pollution is gas and particles contaminating the air in and around buildings. It is distinct from other types of air pollution as it has local causes, but it is still dangerous to humans and damaging to the environment. Indoor air pollution kills over 4 million people across the globe every year and contributes to global warming and the contamination of soil and groundwater. Understanding indoor air pollution, its causes and how to fight it in sustainable ways will benefit the health of humanity and the Earth it calls home.

The Causes of Indoor Air Pollution

Some forms of indoor air pollution are natural such as pollen and spores, but the majority are human-made. Carbon monoxide, which is a gas emitted by cooking equipment and other machinery, is one of the leading culprits. Another gas contributor is radon, a byproduct of uranium decay in rocks and water.

Anthropogenic fine particles are also large parts of indoor air pollution. Common sources include smoke from tobacco products, chemicals from household products like pesticides, and construction materials such as asbestos, lead and formaldehyde.

The Effects

Indoor air pollutants affect humans by causing symptoms like irritation of the nose, eyes and throat, headaches, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Long-term exposure to indoor air pollution also increases risks of heart disease, asthma, respiratory illness and cancer. Pollutants that originate indoors also eventually make their way outdoors and contaminate the air, local soil and water tables.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Ways to Fight It

Using air purifiers may help alleviate the symptoms of indoor air pollution exposure, but it does not stop the sources. There are several ways to combat different pollutants that will have the added benefit of reducing pollution to nearby environments.

  • Carbon Monoxide: Reduce emissions in the home by avoiding gas burning machinery like stoves and diesel generators.
  • Radon: Have the home tested by a professional or with a home test kit. Avoid household items that emit higher levels of radon like stone countertops. Try more sustainable materials like bamboo.
  • Construction Materials: Use alternative sustainable materials during construction.
  • Household Chemicals: Substitute harsh cleaning products for those with natural and sustainable plant ingredients. Instead of pesticides, introduce plants or local predators to keep pests from gardens and homes.

Breathing the Same Air

Keeping humans safe from indoor air pollution is an important goal for the future. If done in environmentally responsible and sustainable ways, improved air quality can benefit all the living things of the Earth.

Writer: Sally Keys is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.

2018-11-25T22:17:43+01:00October 19, 2017|stories|0 Comments