What is IAQ
The term ‘Indoor Air Quality’ or IAQ basically refers to the quality of air present within and around buildings that lay a direct emphasis on the health of its occupants. IAQ is inversely proportional to the concentration of pollutants in air i.e higher the pollutants, lower will be the indoor air quality. Pollutants in the air are of prime concern in air pollution and can be categorized into criteria Pollutants, air toxics and biological pollutants.
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Major Pollutant that Lead to Air Pollution in Delhi
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas that is present in the air in a natural concentration of 0.2 ppm which is certainly not harmful to humans. But the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels like petrol, diesel, wood, combustion of natural and synthetic products like cigarette,stoves, lanterns, grills, gas ranges, sources like defective central heating furnaces, volcanoes, bushfires and industrial activities like steelmaking contribute immensely in the increase of this gas in air, causing high levels of air pollution, such that its constant inhalation turns toxic to humans and animals.
Carbon monoxide, by nature, is odorless, colorless and tasteless, and CO levels are impossible to detect without a gadget.
Symptoms of CO poisoning
Once carbon monoxide enters the body, it combines with the hemoglobin in the blood to form carboxyhemoglobin which lowers the ability of hemoglobin to carry oxygen in the body.
Common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and heart ailments and often described as “flu-like.”
Tips to Prevent and Fight Air Pollution Inside Your Home
1. Invest in Good Air Purifiers
These high-tech devices are known to purify indoor air by removing impurities including PM 2.5 dust particles, that are particularly detrimental to human health along with pollen, smoke, and airborne irritants to essentially provide uncontaminated air for breathing.
2. Add more Indoor Plants
An easy way to fight polluted air in a confined area is to introduce indoor plants that are best at purifying air for you.
Palms: Are an instant facelift. They are hardy and easy to grow and are known for targeting pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene too.
Pothos: Golden-coloured, heart-shaped leaves characterize this hardy plant which is known for reducing levels of formaldehyde as well.
3. Use Carbon Monoxide Detectors to keep CO level in check
Since air pollution is an increasing concern in Delhi and NCR, it is crucial to keep the CO level in your house under check. Invest in quality CO Detector alarms that can warn you about CO rise well in time.
TIP: If you have only one unit, place it in the hall outside the bedroom area of your home. Invisible, odorless, poisonous CO in concentrated form is far less likely to awaken someone who’s sleeping than thick, toxic smoke is.
4. Avoid Using Air Fresheners Directly
According to Green Guide "Many air fresheners contain nerve-numbing chemicals that can coat nasal passages causing temporary blockage in the sense of smelling along with headaches, nausea, asthma, neurological damage and cancer."
The Green Guide suggests mixing few drops of an organic essential oil (lemon, orange and lavender) with distilled or purified water and spraying with a mister.
5.Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly
As a thumb rule,avoid portable flameless chemical heaters while indoors. Never patch a vent pipe with tape, gum etc. as it can cause an increase in CO levels.
Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage or anywhere less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent of your house.
6. Opt for no-VOC or low-VOC paints
Current Air quality in Delhi has left many of us wondering what the future looks like for our future generations. To take a step forward, use Water-Based paints in your house as they are low on volatile organic compounds.
Seek a professional's advice before you start your next painting project.
These are some helpful ways to prevent air pollution and improve the quality in your homes. Delhi's current air pollution situation is a wake-up call for all of us to stop ignoring the planet earth and its a no-brainer to say- Every step counts.