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Air supply

health and fitness Updated: Jan 23, 2010 21:41 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Living with pollution has become a sad reality of our lives, especially if we live in the metros. Air pollution is a big part of this scenario. Every day, we breathe in toxic pollutants that lead to coughs, allergies, lowered immunity, upper and lower respiratory infections, sinusitis, headaches and lowered concentration and performance.

If you think that you can escape this by staying indoors, you’re wrong. Many studies have demonstrated that ‘the indoors can be several times more polluted than the external environment’.

But do not worry. There are many ways to improve your working and living environment and make it healthy and safe. Here’s how:

Use fewer carpets and clean them frequently. Carpets are storehouses of dust mites and organisms.

Use fewer chemicals and sprays in your environment. It is not always necessary to clean with chemical sprays. Simple soap and water will often do just as well.

Whenever a surface is freshly varnished or painted, ventilate the place thoroughly before switching on your air conditioning unit.

Chemical room fresheners may be convenient, but it is preferable to use natural room fresheners. Rooms that are completely sealed need to get the air conditioning units cleaned from time to time. Smoking in office rooms should be discouraged.

Particle boards and other smaller materials contribute to air pollution within buildings. Clean the air with plants placed inside the office. Benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene are some of the common pollutants indoors.

Plants are the green lungs of the earth. Though we may not have the luxury of having large trees, we can get some benefits from bringing some of nature’s lungs into our spaces. These include improved oxygen levels, improved concentration, improved productivity and better spirits and a better-looking environment. Low maintenance plants include money plant, areca palm, peace lily, Boston fern, bamboo palm, lady palm and rubber plant.