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Indoor pollution

This topic provides information related to indoor pollution and its effects on women and children.


Indoor pollution is a serious issue that is not given much attention. In a poor household, pollution starts at the kitchen.

Causes of Indoor pollution

Smoke is a potential harming agent to cause severe diseases to household cooking women. Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Primary forms of smoke is by igniting a match stick and burning coal/ wood (at present the predominant cooking method in rural areas). Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

Indoor pollutants can emanate from a range of sources. Combustion products from heating, cooking, and the smoking of tobacco need to be assessed in urban areas, exposure to indoor air pollution has increased due to a variety of reasons, including the construction of more tightly sealed buildings, reduced ventilation, the use of synthetic materials for building and furnishing and the use of chemical products, pesticides, and household care products. Indoor air pollution can begin within the building or be drawn in from outdoors. Other than nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead, there are a number of other pollutants that affect the air quality in an enclosed space.

Health effects of Indoor pollution

Until recently, the health effects of indoor air pollution have received relatively little attention from the scientific community. Specially in developing countries like India the rural area faces the greatest threat of poor Indoor Air Quality where almost 3.5 million people still rely on traditional fuels such as firewood, charcoal, and cow dung for cooking and heating. Burning such fuels produces large amount of smoke and other air pollutants in the confined space of home, resulting in high exposure. Women and children are the groups most vulnerable as they spend more time indoors and are exposed to the smoke.

Here are some facts :

  1. A match stick made up of phosporous or phosphorus sesquisulfide and its chemical property causes very serious health effects.
  2. While we rub the match stick, it produces a very hard chemical reaction in the form of smoke, which gets mixed and pollutes the kitchen atmosphere.
  3. Some of the health hazards resulting from this kind of pollution are Gastrointestinal effects, abdominal cramps, Respiratory tract irritation, etc.

Useful tips to overcome indoor pollution

  • Use energy efficient smokeless chulhas.
  • The kitchen should have good ventilation for free inflow and outflow of air.
  • Wherever possible, use electronic lighters than match sticks.
  • Whenever possible, use LPG/Solar cookers instead of coal / wood.

Source : Portal Content Team

Anoop Philip Jul 13, 2015 03:59 PM

The topic is more informative.... Thanks for the Vikaspedia Portal....

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