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It was time for the Annual Day Celebrations in my daughter’s school. 'Mumma, you know I am selected for three different performances?' My daughter as always was super excited and her enthusiasm got me excited as well and I looked forward to the function. The day came and just like my husband and myself several other parents sat in the auditorium keeping their cameras ready. What delight and pride we, as parents, feel when we watch our little darlings perform! The Annual Day went on smoothly with some brilliant performances and we applauded and cheered the kids throughout.
While returning back in the car my husband asked me why I was quiet. And I told him there was one particular performance which had left me thinking. The performance was a song drama about Indoor Air Pollution and the effects of it on children. I went home and did some research on the topic.
We all are more or less aware of Pollution in general but my research took me to some findings which astonished me. I had read somewhere that Indoor Air Pollution is worse than Outdoor Air Pollution but didn't know the extent of it.
Indoor air pollution is the degradation of indoor air quality by harmful chemicals and other materials; it can be up to 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution. Studies done so far in India provide us enough evidence that indoor air pollution is a cause of increasing morbidities and mortalities, and there is a need for urgent intervention. The indoor air pollutants have potential health effects. The particulates cause respiratory infections, chronic bronchitis, COPD, and also lead to exacerbation of COPD. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide cause wheezing and exacerbation of asthma.
Do you know that 90% of all colds and flues are caused indoors and only 10% outdoors! We would certainly not want our family and especially our children to become a part of this scary statistics. So what should we do?
First, we must understand what these airborne pollutants are and where they come from and second eliminate those pollution sources if possible and neutralize the pollution itself. The most popular indoor pollutant types are -
2) Mold spores
4) Dust mites
5) Pet dander
6) Bacteria and Viruses
7) Carbon Monoxide
10) Household Cleaners
11) Exhaustion Fumes
So now the big question is with all these in the house how should we protect ourselves!
A very important thing we need to keep in mind is to Use Non-Toxic Products. Almost all cleaning products are full of harmful chemicals. I have started using my own cleaning products with Non-Toxic ingredients. Most of them are easy to make and are in no way less effective. You may consider using homemade cleaning alternatives like Baking Soda, Vinegar, Cream Of Tartar, Lemon juice, Borax. These products help with household chores, add freshness without leaving any harmful substances behind.
Indoor plants are also a very effective way of air purification. They regulate air humidity, eliminate toxins and filter chemicals.
Minimize pollution by removing clutter that collects dust. Try not to wear shoes indoors. Don't allow pets in bedroom especially if they spend time outside. Regularly clean furnitures, floor, windows etc with a wet cloth (use only plain water.) Say NO to smoking indoors.
Take advantage of special air purifying devices. They will help you combat most air borne pollutants and ensure clean and fresh air in your house. While chosing air purifiers I came across many but Eureka Forbes - Dr. Aeroguard stood out. It has multi stage premium filtration system, an air quality sensor and indicator, programmable controls, low power consumption coupled with a whisper quiet operation. And the best part is it is not only powerful & effective but also convenient and economical.
Stay away from major contaminants. Don't move into freshly painted or redecorated house. Leave brand new furnitures for a few days in an empty ventilated room to let formaldehyde out of the wood. Leave the house for a couple of days while treating it with pesticides and air every room before moving back in.
Always live in well ventilated houses. Keep doors and windows open after you wake up in the morning. If that's not possible make use of Exhaustion Fans.
It's amazing how the little children during my daughter’s Annual Day Function made me aware of such a huge, lurking problem within the confines of my home. A mother is a shield for her children. We can go to any length to ensure their well being and good health. Lots of things in the outside environment is not under our control but our house is our own. And making sure that we make ourselves well read and well aware of problems inside our house is our responsibility as mothers. We must spread awareness regarding the same and I have taken the first step. Let us all work towards making a healthy home for our loved ones because as they say 'A Healthy Home is a Happy Home!'