Healthy Indoor Air Quality for COVID Prevention

Nations, both poor and advanced, are still grappling with the effects of the global health crisis.  As the virus is seen to be constantly mutating, there is absolutely no certainty as to when this would end. While the global lockdown scenario has caused a noticeable improvement on outdoor air quality, this restriction on outdoor mobility has presented a huge challenge on maintaining the quality of indoor air in different structures including the home. The air quality in your home can be far more toxic than the air outside. The levels of a few air pollutants can be up to five times higher than their typical outdoor levels. 

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns. (USEPA)

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10 tips to control indoor air quality and help prevent the spread of Covid-19 

1. Ventilation

Ensuring sufficient ventilation is one of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure that you are breathing good air. Keep the windows open to facilitate a natural exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Make sure that you run exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom to remove fumes from cooking and steam, respectively.

2. Avoid and Prevent Smoking Indoors

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Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is one of the most crucial and dangerous contributors to indoor air pollution. Cigarette smoking releases a substantial amount of breathable particulate matter into the air. These suspended particles make your indoor air unbreathable and toxic for smokers as well as non-smokers. So make your place a cigarette-free zone and do not allow anyone to smoke those vicious buds indoors. However, nothing can be better than quitting this habit altogether.

3. Keep outdoor pollutants out

The use of microfiber door mats can magically improve the indoor air quality. Even better, make your home a shoe-free zone. Ask your relatives and friends to remove their footwear outside the home. The footwear can infiltrate your place with outdoor pollutants.

4. Use of Filters

Regularly changing the filters of your air conditioner is a simple yet effective solution to improve the indoor air quality. Filters trap the air pollutants onto their surface, and choked filters can be detrimental to the air quality. Using car cabin filters can also prove fruitful to improve the indoor air quality of your car and save it from turning into a gas chamber.

5. Maximize Natural Air

A simple way to improve your indoor air quality is by avoiding the use of any artificial odor. Air fresheners, deodorants, and scented laundry detergents release airborne pollutants called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your indoor air. These compounds degrade the quality of your indoor air and lead to many health-related disorders, including cancer. This makes natural odor the best choice for a healthy living.

6. Proper Handling of Chemicals

All the household chemicals must be sealed after use. We use a lot of chemicals that vaporize upon exposure to air, such as vinegar, kerosene, petrol, varnish, nail paint remover, etc. Such compounds are called volatile compounds. Their leakage can result in the release of harmful toxins in the indoor air and degrade its quality. Therefore, you should make sure that they are sealed and stored safely after use. Paints are a source of VOCs. Freshly painted rooms result in the release of these compounds in the indoor air, which can be detrimental to human health. Make sure that you schedule indoor painting when your place is the least occupied. Buy only the quantity of paint as per requirement and store any leftovers in a closed, dark space.

7. Greening

The most eye-pleasing, economic, and effective solution to indoor air quality problems is indoor plants. Having indoor plants by your study table, bedside, or a mini-garden on your balcony is one of the most promising solutions. These will eliminate the traces of some dreadful toxins and provide you with fresh and pure oxygen. Some of the indoor plants that require minimum maintenance such as Peace Lily, Kimberley Queen Fern, Dragon Tree, Red Emerald Philodendron, Spider Plant, and Aloe Vera.

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