INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Indoor air is often considered safe and free from pollutants. But most people have the greatest contact with toxic pollutants not outside but inside their homes and offices. The modern consumer products like air fresheners, cleaning compounds, moth repellants, cigarettes, toilet disinfectants or deodorizers are the most common sources that laden the indoor air with toxic pollutants without anyone even suspecting them or their potential. Indoor air pollution refers to chemical, biological, and physical contamination of indoor air. It may result in adverse health effects. Indoor air quality is a term referring to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. The daily routine chores expose people to many potentially harmful materials like volatile organic compounds, carbon mono oxide, benzene, ozone, pesticides, or suspended particulate matter and radiation. Poor sanitation and ill ventilation enhances the build- up of these pollutants, as the air exchange rates are very low. Does anyone suspect the dry cleaned clothes to be causing pollution? But they are! They are laden with tetrachloroethylene that is known to cause cancer in rats. Moth repellants and toilet disinfectants contain a toxic chemical paradichlorobenzene that is also carcinogenic. The cloth washers, detergents containing bleaching agents are harmful too. Passing water through a good quality charcoal filter, or leaving it overnight can minimize the intake of chlorine in drinking water in taking from tap. The “traditional” bio-fuels – fuel wood, crop residues, dried animal dung and scrub are used by more than three quarters of Indian household and half of world’s population as fuel for daily cooking. Bio-fuels are the major source of indoor pollution. They generate 10-100 times more RPM per meal cooked owing to incomplete combustion than cleaner fuels. The gases and soot...
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