Most of us think twice before heading outdoors because of the pollution. But have you ever wondered how polluted your home and office is? According to a survey, indoor air is 3-5 times more polluted than the outdoor air because of the pollutants like dust, cooking fumes, allergens, incense, cigarette smoke and pet dander. Here's a list of common indoor pollutants and its effect on the health.
Scented candles: Candles release soot particles and also gases like toluene and benzene, which are known carcinogens. The carbon particles can lead to respiratory problems and if you have allergies, it can aggravate your condition as well.
Perfumes: It goes without saying that anything with fragrance can irritate the nasal lining and also the eyelids. It can trigger asthma and might aggravate the existing allergies. Studies have shown that perfumes can irritate sensitive airways.
Incense sticks: A ritual that you might come across in most Indian households, especially during pujas or festivals, burning incense sticks can release air pollutants. The sticks release carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, formaldehyde and nitrogen oxide which can lead to inflammation of the bronchial tubes when exposed for long and cause COPD and asthma.
Room fresheners: When it comes to fragrance, it is not just agarbattis and scented candles but room fresheners can also land you in trouble. If you are allergic to it, it can lead to severe sneezing and might trigger an allergic response in some cases, says Dr Rohit Batra, Dermatologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.
Smoke: Lastly, smoke. Be it cigarette smoke or smoke from cooking in a kitchen, when inhaled, it can not only cause inflammation of the respiratory airways but also put you at risk of cancer. smoking can damage the windpipe, make you prone to oral problems and up your risk of inflammatory conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, etc.