The air quality in India is deteriorating due to anthropogenic activities, massive industrial expansion, population density and increased automobile use. There is evidence that air pollution both outdoor and indoor are on the rise in India and is the cause of higher rates of morbidity and mortality hence, effective interventions are required right now, from awareness to stringent standards to altering fuel usage patterns.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 4 million people die prematurely each year as a result of illnesses caused by household air pollution, especially from the inefficient combustion of solid fuels, which badly impacts health equity and climate change. In addition to the significant health impacts, carbonaceous aerosols released from solid fuel combustion contribute significantly to global climate impacts by exerting a direct as well as indirect radiative effect.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Kartik Singhal, Founder of O2 Cure and Managing Director at Zeco Aircon Limited, highlighted that under IAQ, we need to look at factors that combine to provide healthy air:
1. Fresh air is of utmost importance as it treats pollutants like CO2 and replaces stale air by increasing air changes. It can be done by installing fresh air filtration systems in households.
2. Increasing humidity levels during dry winters helps reduce PM levels as they get heavy and settle down on surfaces.
3. Effective passive air purifiers with H13 HEPA filters help reduce PM10, 2.5 and 1, every particle smaller than 0.3 microns.
4. Adding an active air purifier with PHI, BPI technology reduces cross-infection bacteria, TVOC, formaldehyde, NO2, SO2, etc and chances of infection.
5. Further monitoring of IAQ levels through applications and smartphones is also critical.
Talking about the things you should know about household air pollution, Gaurav Kedia, Chairman of Indian Biogas Association warned, “The ill effects on human health from indoor air pollution include strokes, heart diseases, lung cancer, and other deadly ailments. Unclean fuels, which are used in household activities, affect the brain, causing developmental delays, behavioral problems, and lower IQ in children, which is the established reason for poverty and inequality.”
He suggested, “Household air pollution can be reduced by avoiding the use of unprocessed coal and kerosene and by adopting cleaner fuels like biogas, LPG, and PNG. A shift towards the adoption of renewable energy sources is the need of the hour.”