Indoor air pollution is one of the major reasons responsible for causing diseases in human beings. It is like a silent killer. The smoke rising from stove and fire inside the house results in the deaths of millions of people every year especially in developing countries.
Even today major section of population use solid fuels like wood, dung, coal and agriculture residue to cook food. In this process lot of poisonous smoke including chemicals is produced which weakens the body’s immune system and increases the risk of respiratory diseases like pneumonia and bronchitis. The major pollutant inside the home is carbon monoxide gas which is created from the incomplete burning of fossil fuels in a closed space particularly in rural areas. Women and children are exposed to subjected levels of smoke which is far beyond the safety limit. But these people have no choice as it is not possible to cook without these fuels and they can’t do without eating food cooked in such a way. The worst part about cooking food with solid fuels is that the houses lack any ventilation system due to which the
people staying in such homes become victims of fuel burning smoke. On top of that there are no sponsors with WHO who could aid in funding programmes to stop this menace by providing smokeless chulhas or LPG cylinders to the poor people. It is an irony that the act of preparing food does more harm than any good. Instead of nurturing the family they have to bear the risk of health.
In urban cities also there is a threat of contamination in the house due to home appliances like toasters, refrigerators and air conditioners. Even emission from these gadgets is very harmful. Apart from this the fumes of air fresheners and perfumed candles also result in indoor air pollution. It is very dangerous to inhale toxic fumes produced inside the home as this can result in irritation of skin and eyes, nausea, nose and throat cancer and coughing fits. Also the emission of formaldehyde vapour from glue, furnishings and insulation results in diseases of lungs. Another main category of contaminants inside the home are mold, dust mites, fur and flecks of skin. These are also hazardous for human health especially young children and adults who are more sensitive to air pollution. This indoor air pollution is actually a killer
in the sense that it has adverse consequences on health like miscarriage, improper functioning of kidneys and lungs, increase in chances of heart attack, asthma, obesity, dementia and so on.
After witnessing the compelling evidence of killer air pollution on human health, it is now the time to take some serious action. Strict laws should be made to reduce the harmful emissions so that the pain and suffering of the people can be lessened.
Long term exposure to toxic chemicals, gases and fumes inside the home can lead to poor development of children in their early years. The elderly and sensitive people also have to suffer from some severe health hazards. Some cleaner alternatives should be introduced in place of solid fuels. Avoid spraying chemical perfumes and lighting scented candles to stop the contamination of air. Maintaing good quality of air is very important for all of us. It is just the little awareness on how to get better quality of air and stop the menace of air pollution which can make us live a better and healthy life.