Science

Indoor Air Pollution Is The New Silent Killer

By Donna Bellevue , Feb 17, 2017 05:21 AM EST
404972 03: A Muslim Uighur man warms himself while cooking mutton stew early in the morning at a market April, 28 2002 in Kashgar, Xinjiang Region, China. China has demanded the repatriation of Uighur fighters captured alongside the Taliban in Aghanstan. China is concerned about Uighur separatist fighting for their own country in the Northwest of China and has recently begun a crackdown in the region. Amnesty International has accused China of repression and executions of the Uighur people in the Xinjiang Region. (Photo : Kevin Lee/Getty Images)

Health experts are terming indoor air pollution as the new "silent killer" as its adverse effects go undetected for a long time. Scientists have been wary of this kind of pollution, linking it to heart lung and heart diseases. Now, a new study from India that compares different factors of pollution finds that indoor pollution can be 40 times more harmful than outdoor pollution, such as the kind we usually experience while commuting in highly populated cities.

Sundeep Salvi, director of Chest Research Foundation in India, have been studying the effects of air pollution on health. "Lungs are the first organ to experience and process the polluted air we breathe. They can take a lot of abuse before manifesting any symptoms of bad health," he says. That's why lung problems are usually detected after the damage is done.

Salvi explains that indoor air pollution is primarily caused by lifestyle and socio-economic factor-based choices at home. These seemingly innocent domestic choices actually have a direct bearing on a person's health, affecting everyone at home. More alarming is the fact that it's difficult to determine if certain home product is causing any harm due to the non-presence of immediate symptoms, The Times Of India reports.

In Indian, biomass-fuelled stoves are one of the biggest factors of indoor pollution. In Britain and American, silent killers at home include scented candles and air fresheners. These products have been found to add toxic chemicals to the air which can cause a multitude of health problems, including cancer, the News Max reports.

In cold countries, much of indoor pollution is the result of keeping air shut in as a way to cut energy bills by insulating homes. However, the result is a toxic brew of chemicals that anyone inside the house constantly breathes. Indoor air pollution impacts health in many ways, causing lung and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, dementia, asthma, and cancer, as well as adverse effects on developing fetuses, British health experts say.

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