INDOOR AIR POLLUTION: THE HOW

Welcome to our blog, the leading destination for everything on healthy air and your health. Indoor air pollution normally consists of dust, dirt, disease-causing pathogens, or gases in the air inside buildings such as your home or workplace that could be harmful to breathe in. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to lung diseases like asthma, COPD, and lung cancer. It has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Some Of The Causes And Effects Of Indoor Air Pollution

Most indoor air pollution comes from sources that release gases or particles into the air. Things such as building materials and air fresheners give off pollution constantly. Tobacco smoke and wood-burning stoves also cause indoor pollution. Others include;

  • heating and lighting
  • mosquito repellants
  • use of pesticides and chemicals used for cleaning at home
  • Burning of candles, fire lamps e.t.c.
  • Diesel generators, road dust, and soot from the use of biomass-fueled cookstoves indoors.

INDOOR AIR POLLUTION AND ITS EFFECT ON OUR HEALTH

Each year, about 3.2 million people die prematurely from illness due to poor indoor air pollution caused by the incomplete combustion of solid fuels and kerosene used for cooking. In poorly ventilated dwellings, indoor smoke can have levels of fine particles 100 times higher than acceptable and small particles that penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream. Exposure is usually high among women and children, who spend most time indoors.

Indoor air pollution is a high-risk factor for several of the world’s leading causes of death, particulate matter and other pollutants inflame the airways and lungs which leads to heart disease, pneumonia, stroke, diabetes, lung cancer, and reducing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

Among these 3.2 million deaths from indoor air pollution exposure:

  • 32% are from heart disease
  • 23% are from stroke
  • 21% are due to lower respiratory infection: exposure to pollutants doubles the risk for childhood lower respiratory infection (LRI) and is responsible for 44% of pneumonia deaths in children less than five years old. Deaths due to lower respiratory infection among children under the age of five years of age are caused by inhaling particulate matter(soot) from indoor air pollution.
  • 19% are from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • 6% are from lung cancer, and most of the death of lung cancer in adults are attributed to exposure to carcinogens from using kerosene or solid fuels like wood, charcoal, or coal for household energy needs.

One of the most important steps in preventing indoor air pollution is to ensure people are aware of how their actions or inaction can contribute to air pollution. Secondly, is to educate key stakeholders on how to reduce, control or eliminate the risk of air pollution.

In subsequent publications, we will be sharing some effective ways of controlling or eliminating the risk of air pollution in our homes, schools, offices, and other locations.

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