Indoor Air Vs. Outdoor Air. Which one is more dangerous?

Whether you are indoors or outdoors, the air surrounding you is not just a necessity but should also guarantee your well-being and safety. However, germs and pollutants in the air can compromise your health. 

What does unhealthy air quality mean?

For instance, your risk for illness may increase due to being in contact with poor air quality. The air you breathe is important to all the functions of your body. So, if the quality of the air, whether indoor or outdoor, is poor, it can make it difficult on your lungs and have many repercussions in the body.

Some health dangers concerning poor air quality include:

  • Mild heart attacks
  • Loss of vision 
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Asthma
  • Headaches
  • Respiratory problems
  • Sensory irritation

In order to be safer from all such diseases, you need to learn how to keep the air around you pollutant-free. Otherwise, the pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels, electric power generation, home heating, and transport will be a greater health concern.

Which Is More Dangerous? Indoor Or Outdoor Air?

We generally believe that indoor air is more clean, pure, and without pollution compared to outdoor air. 

Why is this so? Because outdoor air contains all sorts of air pollutants like factories waste, industrial and traffic smoke, along with many other toxic particles. On the other hand, the air within your home contains no such elements, which is why you find yourself more secure and protected.

But Is It True?

Well, recent reports concerning environmental pollution will surprise you. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ”the world’s largest single environmental health risk is indoor air pollution”, which leads to many respiratory diseases, including premature deaths. 

The risk is higher in developing and underdeveloped countries. A report by the interdisciplinary journal Lancet Planetary Health concluded that 64% of deaths in the last two decades from 2000 to 2019 in India were caused due to indoor air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data reveals that the ratio of indoor pollutants is 2 to 5 times more than outdoor pollutants. 

According to the Science of the Total Environment journal, “there can be many sources of pollution that damage the quality of air found indoor such as cooking residue, paints, varnishes and fungal spores. These factors play a vital part in making indoor air more polluted than outdoor.”

It’s Not Easy To Believe 

It’s hard to acknowledge the factual evidence that indoor air can be more dangerous, especially when the quality of life is improving in the 21st century. Still, concerns related to deteriorating indoor air quality are growing.

The biggest question that comes to mind is identifying the factors that affect air within our homes, offices, entertainment areas etc. Here are some of the main culprits that we do not realize but can be dangerous for human life;

  • Dust and dander from pets like cats, dogs etc.
  • Chemicals from cleaning supplies contain toxic compounds like glycol and terpenes.
  • Carpeting and furnishing materials.
  • Fungal growths.
  • Cigarette smoke — contains over 200 different poisonous toxins.
  • Air fresheners — carry volatile organic compounds like nitrogen dioxide.
  • Cooking fuels — known to generate a large number of air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM).

Tips And Tricks To Clean Indoor Air 

Now, how to improve indoor air quality?

  • Smoking should be avoided because even if you smoke outdoors, a residual amount of the toxins may stick to your clothes and in your hair.
  • Radon detectors are readily available in the markets that can be installed to keep the air clean within the house or office.
  • Air filters should be changed every three months.
  • It should be in your practice to have a proper system of ventilation whenever you are using chemicals for cleaning, decorating or crafting purposes.
  • Environmental sensors are another excellent option for indoor air quality testing.
  • Cleaning of the HVAC duct system must be done at least every 3 years. 

Try your best to implement these tips to clean indoor air because every bit of effort creates a substantial positive impact on the surrounding air and your health.

Final Words

The debate may go on regarding which air is more dangerous, indoor or outdoor? But according to the facts, the alarming situation of indoor air quality should be monitored and cared for as it is an important issue concerning your safety and well-being.

People who live in cities spend most of their time indoors. In other words, 90% of what they breathe is indoor air, which is impure and contaminated. So, regardless of whether you can see the pollutants, they are present and can affect your health.

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