In the past few years, scientific evidence has come to indicate that the air inside our homes and other building units can be more severely polluted as against the outdoor air, especially in the largest and highly industrialized cities.
By Dhruv Bhatnagar,
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized air pollution and climate change as the top global environmental threats to human life in 2019. Recent researches have shown how prior prediction models underestimated the health burden caused by air pollution, projecting that currently there are approximately 9 million deaths annually from air pollution worldwide. Out of this, nearly 99% of deaths have occurred due to indoor air pollution while 90% of deaths have been the result of ambient air pollution, majorly in low- and middle-income countries, where there is a lot of burning of solid fuels for the purposes of cooking and heating.
In our daily lives, we all face a variety of risks. Driving cars, cooking in our kitchens, flying in airplanes, indulging in recreational activities, and being exposed to different environmental pollutants – all pose diverse levels of risk. Some of these risks are inevitable; while some we choose to accept to live our lives the way we want. And some are risks that we might avoid if we used our ability to make informed choices. Indoor air pollution and exposure to various hazardous substances in our homes are risks we could do something about.
In the past few years, scientific evidence has come to indicate that the air inside our homes and other building units can be more severely polluted as against the outdoor air, especially in the largest and highly industrialized cities. As people spend most of their time indoors, they may be more at risk from exposure to indoor air pollution than outdoors. Moreover, people exposed to air pollutants inside their homes for a longer time are often the ones highly susceptible to their after-effects. These comprise the young, the elderly, and those chronically ill, especially the ones who are suffering from cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.
Key Factors Causing Air Pollution
Air pollution is primarily caused by the presence of toxic substances in our atmosphere, produced partly by human activities and partly, on occasions, by natural phenomena such as dust storms, wildfires, and volcanic eruptions, that deplete the air quality significantly.
Even a typical home has multiple sources of pollution: cooking, heating, cleaning, smoking, furnishings and perfumes. In addition, a simple act of moving around can stir up harmful particulate matter settled on our floors. Since more airtight homes can have an adverse impact on the indoor air quality, there is a rising demand for improving the energy efficiency of buildings. The air within our homes already contains unwanted substances like PM 2.5& PM 10, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, oxides of nitrogen and volatile chemicals emanating from fragrances used by conventional cleaners.
How Liquid-Based Solutions Can Help Curb Pollution Levels
Latest technologies are providing diversified solutions to combating the problem of indoor and outdoor air pollution. Liquid-based anti-pollution products have emerged as the go-to remedy for curbing air pollutants. These products are dust-binding and help curtail the sand and dust from flying in the external and internal environment. When used for indoor settings, these products can help remove the airborne particles which exist suspended in the indoor air and carry PM particles along with dust mites.
Mixing the liquid solution with water and using that mix to mop the floors or spray on the carpets indoors is how these products are employed ideally. The coating that is created on the floor is the safety net as post that the floor becomes the shield and a giant air filler. The air pollutants such as dust mites and PM particles that get attracted to the floor are trapped within this coating, which are then removed on the second mopping cycle/ spray session, creating, in turn, a new coating on the floor. This way the liquid-based anti-pollution products help reduce PM particles by 60 percent in 7 days.
In a similar fashion, the mix of liquid solution with water can be sprayed outdoors on dust areas or loose sand. This process binds the dust, suppresses dust cloud formation and controls airborne dust.
Maintaining good levels of air quality is the basic premise of healthy living. Given the current scenario, liquid-based anti-pollution products have emerged as ideal saviors that can significantly contribute to making air pollution free – both indoors and outdoors. A healthy environment effectively leads to a hygienic and safe life for us.
(The author is CEO, DB Life Sciences. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)