HYDERABAD: Winter can be wonderful in some ways and harsh in another. While the underlying meaning behind these words is one of warning and constant vigilance, similarly, with the dip in temperatures, also comes the increased risk of smog and air pollution.
As winter means being bundled up in layers of woollen and staying indoors to beat the harsh winds, it also means that we end up spending a good chunk of the day within the confines of our homes. Though we are sealed away from the cold temperatures outside, it’s easy to convince ourselves that the air we’re breathing inside our home is clean, especially if we don’t see or smell anything unusual, it’s only an illusion. The truth remains, unless we take precautions, the air inside the home can get dirty enough to actually make you sick.
It is easy to convince ourselves that we are safe from outdoor air pollution whenever we are indoors. However, what most of us don’t realise is that the main exposure to asthma-triggering, headache-inducing air pollution is likely coming from right inside our own home. Things we take for granted are usually the culprits behind the pollution, dust mites and cigarette smoke are probably on the radar, but how about your air freshener and household cleaning products?
A recent study by Eureka Forbes and Brandscapes has revealed that 77 per cent people perceive outdoor air to be more polluted, and most remained unaware of the harmful impact of indoor air pollution.
The very soothing and appealing smell of that air freshener in your living room that makes you feel relaxed and pleasant, unknowingly adds to the indoor air pollution level in your house. This is caused due to the increase in the aerosol level that it adds to the indoor atmosphere once sprayed. All-purpose cleaners and oven cleaners have also been linked to health problems.
There are easy changes you can make to clear the air and potentially eliminate indoor air pollutants that have been linked to not only asthma attacks, but dizzy spells, and even worse, cancer.
Things you can do
- Instead of using artificial air freshener sprays, try simmering cinnamon and cloves to give your home an “I’ve-spent-the-whole-day-baking” scent.
- You might also boil a pot of water on the stove with a few drops of your favourite essential oil or use an essential oil burner or dispenser.
- Invest in an air purifier as a long-term solution to ensure the well-being of your family. Don’t forget to check if the air purifier has a high efficiency particulate air filtration (HEPA) filter, as it can trap small particles and pollutants such as molds, smoke, house dust and pet dander and also remove foul odour, thereby significantly improving air quality
- Disinfect your bed sheets, pillowcases and upholstery with new-age UV sanitisers, which provide a non-chemical approach to cleaning, ensuring all traces of dust mites are wiped clean
- Switch to mild cleaners that don’t include artificial fragrances.
- Opt for a spray mop, to clean the floors. Skip the soaps and cleaners and just use plain water to capture any lingering dust. Moreover, the new-age spray mops come in the form of a handy device that ensures no painful back bending and no dirty hands
(Marzin R Shroff, CEO-direct sales, Eureka Forbes)