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Prevent asthma attacks during lockdown by reducing indoor air pollution

Updated on:15 May 2020, 14:31pm IST
While we’re spending time at home, indoor air pollution is something we might not pay too much attention. But it’s time we change that.
Team Health Shots
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Inddor air pollution is real,ladies! Image Courtesy : Shutterstock

We often think of air pollution as something that happens outside of your homes. In reality, though indoor air pollution is as much a health hazard as outdoor air pollution. Interestingly, studies have found that the concentration of indoor pollutants can be many times higher than the ones outside. Why? Well, we’ve got poor ventilation to blame.

Since the covid-19 pandemic has forced us to spend our entire time indoors, our exposure to indoor pollution has also increased. Which is why it is important to ensure that the air we breathe is clean. Especially if you or someone in your family has asthma

So, here we’ve got Dr Prashant Chhajed, HOD Respiratory Medicine, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi and Fortis Hospital to share what are these pollutants we need to vary of for the sake of family members prone to asthma flare-ups: 

1. Bio-aerosols
Think of bio-aerosols as the matter suspended in the air by the environment you inhabit. This matter includes pollen, bacteria, fungus, and virus–all of which can trigger allergies or even asthma.

indoor air pollution
Cigarette smoke isn’t what your lungs want. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Tobacco smoke
Well, if you smoke then you are just filling your home with toxic fumes that are a risk factor for chronic lung diseases such as asthma or bronchitis.

3. Pollution caused by cleaning and renovation activities
Did you know that pollution can be caused by wood dust as well as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paints, primers, adhesives, and surface finishes? All these things are emitted while constructing/renovating homes.

4. Incense smoke
We often don’t consider smoke emitting from dhoop and agarbatti as harmful. But did you know that fumes from these products contain many toxic chemicals? And according to scientists from the South China University of Technology, they can increase your risk of cancer more than cigarette smoke.

5. Camphor and mosquito coil fumes
The smoke released from burning camphor and/or mosquito coils contains lead, iron, and manganese–along with a pesticide called ‘pyrethrin’ is dangerous for our lung health.

Here are some measures you can take to reduce these pollutants
This is an especially hard time for people with respiratory ailments like asthma. Therefore it is essential to ensure that the home environment is free of these pollutants and isn’t primed for asthma flare-ups.

indoor air pollution
It’s time to take steps to prevent asthma flare-ups by keeping indoor air clean. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

This is what Dr Chhajed suggests you can do:

1. Quit smoking to safeguard your lung health.
2. Start using fragrance-free household products to protect yourself from toxic fumes.
3. Minimize the area of carpeting in the home.
4. Use an exhaust hood while cooking to prevent fumes from collecting inside.
5.
Remember to keep the windows open and the house well ventilated.
6.
Use dehumidifiers and air conditioning to prevent mold and help to reduce dust mites, which don’t survive at humidity levels below 35%
7.
Using air purifiers or filters may help clean out the pet dander that is light-weight and floats in the air.
8.
Reduce dust mites and dust particles by vacuum cleaning carpets and upholstery regularly.
9.
Wash bedding, cushion covers, and blankets regularly to keep allergies at bay.
10.
Avoid using incense sticks and dhoop at home.

So there you have it. It’s time to breathe clean air by making our homes a pollutant-free home.

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