Combat Air Pollution using Natural Purifiers

The mere thought of living in a toxic environment is appalling and what is research says that the air inside your home is actually 2 to 5 times more polluted and toxic than the air you breathe outdoors?

Over commercialization of goods created a web of harmful chemicals and toxics around us. Everything from the mattresses we sleep on, bowl we use for food to our kids' books and clothes contain these chemicals. The health experts says that even breathing around such things can be a cause of out toxic gases in take which leads to rashes, coughing, irritation in the eyes, as well as asthma like symptoms.

Formaldehyde, a toxic gas, is found in insecticides, glues, shampoos, shaving creams, carpets and other such items that we use on everyday basis. The chemical is actually a carcinogen and can be fetal for people with sensitive respiratory issues.

Furthermore, thanks to the Diwali 2016, the level of pollution in the capital is all time high. On 30 and 31 October, 2016, from 9 pm to the wee hours of the next morning, North India - especially parts of Delhi recorded PM 2.5 levels of pollution which is beyond scale of pollution values.

Natural Ways to Purify Air at Home

Many parts of the India are gasping for fresh air but shrouded in a thick blanket of smog (smoke + fog). It is unimaginable that people do not know how many types of pollutants they have in their house and they do not even open a window to have some fresh air. Here is the list of natural purifiers for homes and workplaces, which will keep our ‘Air’ fit.

1. Houseplants

Houseplants, is a but obvious way for purifying and rejuvenating the air within houses and workplaces, safeguarding people from any side effects associated with prevalent toxins like ammonia, formaldehyde and also benzene.

It's the best way to counter the impact of pollution indoors, particularly if you have a family member with some respiratory illness. It's suggested that you have at least one plant per 100 square feet of home for efficient air cleaning to be accomplished. The best plants to filter toxins from the air are Peace Lily which prefers moderate sunlight, Lady Palm or Broadleaf Lady Palm which is adaptable but prefers bright, indirect light.

Areca Palm, Golden Cane Palm and Bamboo Palm grow in bright, indirect light and can be kept anywhere, especially in carpeted rooms or those which have recently been painted. Chrysanthemum, commonly referred to as Pot Mums loves bright sunlight, and Money Plant i.e. Golden Pothos - also called Devil's Ivy, Money Plant, Silver Vine are adaptable in nature.

Another houseplant which helps purify the air is English Ivy - often called Common Ivy or European Ivy and can be kept in rooms with computers, printers, fax machines. Boston Fern also grows easily in bright light and is best for hanging baskets. Spider Plant is useful in kitchens with gas stoves as it helps control carbon monoxide and xylene.

2. Activated Charcoal

A fantastic way to purify indoor air is with activated charcoal, also referred to as active carbon. It's odourless, highly-absorptive and works wonders with eliminating toxins from the air. Bamboo charcoal can do wonders as natural air purifier.

3. Salt Lamps

"Salt crystal products tend to reduce airborne irritants, pathogens and allergens by pulling water vapour out of the air. Himalayan pink salt is a natural ionic air purifier that pulls toxins from the environment and neutralises them.

Simply by adding a Himalayan pink salt lamp in your room or near your desk at the office does the trick, in terms of functionality and decor. You can leave it on at night as well, since the natural orange glow doesn't disrupt sleep hormones. Salt lamps improve air purification much more when they are turned on, but surprisingly work when turned off too.

4. Increase Ventilation

Better ventilation in homes reduces moisture levels, a major problem for indoor air quality. The trick is not just open a window and let all the outdoor air pollution enter in the living space. Instead, install trickle vents to purify and cycle the air you breathe indoors, like use of exhaust fans which help carry pollutants outside.

Ventilate the kitchen with chimney, since cooking can be a major source of indoor air pollution, especially if you have a gas stove. Scientists who measured indoor air quality found that cooking a single meal on a gas stove can produce levels of nitrogen dioxide that the EPA considers unsafe to breathe.

Also, after taking a shower, it is advisable to vent out all the steam and extra moisture in the air which can cause mold and mildew growth by turning the fan on.

5. Beeswax Candles

Opt, beeswax candles instead of petroleum derived candles which releases benzene, toluene and other chemicals in air. Beeswax candles ionise the air and neutralise toxic compounds and other contaminants. Besides improving the air quality at home, beeswax candles burn slowly so you don't need to replace them often.

In fact, pure beeswax candles burn with almost no smoke or scent. They are especially helpful for asthmatics and to remove common allergens like dust from the air.

Few Quick Tips
1. Carpets are a toxic sponge. Clean them often. Study suggests that if you use a doormat and take shoes off at the door, common toxins are reduced by about 60%.

2. Eliminate excessive moisture, dust build-up and the use of chemical products like paint, detergents, and synthetic fibers.

3. Quit smoking, and prevent guests from smoking inside your house.

4. Always lookout for natural alternatives for any household item.

5. If you have plants at home, clean leaves regularly to get rid of dirt.

6. Since dry cleaning solvents can be toxic to breathe, first let dry-cleaned items air outdoors before bringing them inside in order to prevent chemicals from entering your home.

7. Know the limitation of air purifiers, as they can help reduce some of the tiniest air borne particles to an extent but fail to get rid of larger particles effectively.

8. Clean your air conditioner to help keep asthma triggers away from your house. And as soon as you notice drips and leaks, get it fixed.


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