Effects Of Indoor Air Pollution On The Human Body

October 30, 2018

Air pollution rates have been steadily increasing over the past few years and have now reached more dangerous heights. Toxicity in the air is rife, particularly in some of the world’s largest cities such as Delhi and New York. The effects of indoor air pollution can be serious, which is why it’s important that governing bodies and environmentalists across the globe come together to try and tackle it.

What Is Indoor Air Pollution?

A common misconception with air pollution is that it can only be apparent outdoors, in the form of smog and emissions. However, because of the increasing harmful levels of pollution, it has seeped its way into our homes and workplaces. In fact, indoor pollution occurs when certain air pollutants from particles and gases contaminate the air of indoor spaces.

The Most Common Causes

  1. Cigarette Smoke – Tobacco smoke can linger in the air for a long time after the cigarette was initially burnt. This is one of the main reasons why smoking in indoor public spaces in the UK was banned in 2007.
  2. Damp Environment Contaminants – Contaminants that grow and thrive in damp environments can be toxic forms of indoor pollution. These include: mildew, mould and dust mites.
  3. Asbestos – This is an extremely dangerous indoor pollutant that is found in various materials in the construction or automotive industry. Old homes are most at risk for asbestos than newer builds, as it was banned from being used.
  4. Heaters And Stoves – Real wooden fires can cause billowing smoke, as well as indoor pollution. Similarly, space heaters and wooden stoves emit carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide which is particularly harmful to people’s health. However, many people do continue to use them.
  5. Household Products – Household cleaning products, paints and varnishes can all contribute to the poor air quality you may experience in your home or workspace.

What Can It Do To The Human Body?

Air pollution can be potentially fatal. In fact, the first direct death linked to air pollution took place earlier this year. It was concluded that the deceased had lived in an area that was a so-called ‘hotspot’ for toxic pollution levels.

It can also increase the risk of asthma, heart disease, and the onset of type 2 diabetes. The exposure of pregnant women to air pollution has also been proven to affect foetal brain growth.

When it comes to pollution in the workplace, it can be detrimental to their health. This can cause them to take more sickness days, making them demotivated and sluggish.

Solutions For The Future

The future is looking clearer. There have been major commitments by many countries to try and tackle air pollution; both indoor and outdoor. Air purifiers have been introduced into homes across the country, with people opting for their own methods of breathing in cleaner air. Dyson have been pioneers in this field, claiming to remove 99.95% of pollutants in the home. In terms of workplace pollution, industrial ventilation systems have been installed in larger factories and on industrial parks in a bid to reduce the infamous high smog pollution rates.

Though we still have a long way to go before we achieve a safe level of pollution globally, steps are being taken in the right direction for a healthier, cleaner world.