Battle against air pollution: How to tackle bad air outside and at home
While the directive of ‘stay home, stay safe’ is to protect one’s self from the deadly virus, it needs to be acknowledged that as we spend ample time at home, the indoor air pollutants become a health concern as wellUpdated: Oct 29, 2020, 14:11 IST
In addition to Covid-19, residents of Delhi-NCR are now dealing with adversities of toxic air, given a steep rise in Air Quality Index (AQI). While the directive of ‘stay home, stay safe’ is to protect one’s self from the deadly virus, it needs to be acknowledged that as we spend ample time at home, the indoor air pollutants become a health concern as well.
And one way of dealing with this is to place air purifiers at home. But, how effective are they in reducing the level of airborne contaminants? “Intelligent machines which sense pollution, capture it down to ultrafine particle sizes, and then project cleaner air around a room uniformly, can help in air purification inside people’s homes, where we spend almost 90% of our days,” says David Hill, design manager at Dyson.
Other easy quick and easy ways to make the air fresh and healthy at home is by indoor plants suggests architect and interior designer Seetu Kohli. She says, “Parlor palm survive in low light and remove benzene and trichloroethylene and are wonderful for breathing oxygen inside the homes.”
For those planning to get a house makeover, she recommends, “Whenever you get your house painted, set it up with aloe vera plant as it cleans off benzene and formaldehyde in the air which is given off by paints. It’s also a great idea have lots of fresh flowers like the chrysanthemums which remove benzene and look gorgeous too. Also, rubber plant’s shiny leaves takes in the carbon dioxide and gives the life saving oxygen.”
Apart from a disciplined cleaning routine, architect Samarth Trehan feels one must stick to easy-to-maintain designs while planning a home or an office. “In harsher climates, the best approach is to make a building as impervious to the outdoors as possible, while maintaining a balance of natural light and ventilation. Use non-toxic materials while constructing the building. Products that reduce formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds and other potentially harmful chemicals. Replace existing paints, adhesives, flooring and other finishes to ones that are easy to clean without the use additional chemicals or detergents making indoors spaces much healthier for children and adults.”
Meanwhile, health experts suggest a change in timing for outdoor fitness activities and some minor lifestyle changes. Dr Deepali Bhardwaj says, “If your house is facing the main road and it is a polluted one, then it is advised to keep windows shut. Make sure when you go out for a walk, no heavy vehicles crossed within a span of 20 minutes. Get indoor plants and humidifiers.There soon will be a time when we end up wearing masks at home due to indoor pollution but if you feel your house has a lot of pollution already, wear a mask indoors, and for outside, wear the anti-viral mask.”
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