Air pollution; As I recall we learn about it as part of our primary education. If you remember those water cycle, solar system and types of pollution days. Air pollution isn’t new to us but does it happen indoors too. Didn’t know!
Pollution has been a hot topic over the news lately with a number of Indian cities making it to the WHO list of most polluted cities of the world. Surprisingly, Delhi isn’t the most polluted any more, according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) urban air quality database released in 2016. In all, four Indian cities are among the world’s ten most polluted cities, 10 out of top 20 are also in India.
If you are already feeling lucky that your city is not on the list or because you mostly stay indoors in your home or office, you need to align some facts here. The common notion is that burning bio-fuels for cooking is the most important cause of indoor pollution in developing countries like India. But using LPG cannot save us from this evil because urban locales have their own problems. Studies have confirmed that an average urban household may be more polluted that the outside.
So what are these indoor air pollutants?
Remnants of harmful gases, aerosols, chemicals, dust etc all contribute to air pollution inside our homes.
Volatile organic compoundsoriginate mainly from solvents and chemicals. The main indoor sources are perfumes, hair sprays, furniture polish, glues, air fresheners, wood preservatives, and many other products used in the house.
Tobacco smokegenerates a wide range of harmful chemicals known to cause cancer and it is hazardous for active as well as passive smokers. If you smoke indoors, your kids maybe at risk too.
chikungunya I am yet to see a household which does not uses any mosquito repellent, be it coils, mats, liquid vaporizers or anything else. They add to the pollution too while protecting you from bites.
Biological pollutantsinclude pollen from plants, mite, hair from pets, fungi, parasites, and some bacteria.
Formaldehyde is a gas that comes mainly from carpets, particle boards, and insulation foam.
Toxic gases like carbon monoxide circulating inside our vehicles air conditioning system. Yes, your car is polluted too.
Dust, moisture and pets are among the usual suspects too.
Why should we be scared?
Simply because they are bad and if you are allergic to something in particular then they may be even worse.
The main health effect is the irritation of the eye, nose and throat. In more severe cases there may be headaches, nausea and loss of coordination. In the long term, some of the pollutants are suspected to damage to the liver and other parts of the body. Many of them are allergens and can cause asthma, hay fever, and other allergic diseases.
Why do they stay indoors?
Well, simply because they don’t have a way out. Poor ventilation in cramped up buildings, and increasing use of synthetic products in construction and furnishings are the main culprits. Most localities lack basic infrastructure and cross ventilation is rarely seen because the homes are open on one side only.
These are the times when air purifiers are preferred over open gardens or porches. We need to change before our air does.
What can we do?
=> There’s no single right answer (because each one of us react differently to these pollutants and the conditions differ too). But some general guidelines may help us to find our own right answer.
=> Switch to natural or at least use limited number of synthetic products. Use them judiciously balancing safety and toxicity.
=> Let your home breathe to clear these pollutants out. De-clutter you home and open windows more often but don’t let the mosquitoes in.
=> Use products that conform to strict international environmental and safety standards like the green assured Royale Atmos from Asian Paints.
Royale Atmos is a first of its kind paint that not only looks beautiful, but also cleans the air making it purer than before by reducing harmful air pollutants like formaldehyde. Its Activated Carbon technology reduces harmful pollutants from the air. Additionally, Royale Atmos also absorbs and reduces select foul smells to make the air fresher. It is the first Asian Paints product to have a fragrance, instead of the normal chemical smell of paints. Thus, it also acts like an air freshener by releasing a mild fragrance weeks after painting. And it does so while it protects your walls against the toughest household and water based stains.
BNLF by indiblogger is coming up and I can’t wait for November for my first ever BNLF event. There’s so much to do and I loved this get published initiative by storymirror.
So, here’s what I’ve been thinking to write about. I have a connection with the diabetes and its complications. I have seen up close what it can do to your loved ones. I can’t express the helplessness when it strikes and being a doctor made it even harder for me to witness it from the window. If you have been following my poetry you may have sensed it too. I know how difficult it is even when you understand whats and whys and when you don’t…I can’t even imagine. I have been wanting to write a layman’s guide to diabetes and hypertension for everyone so that they can understand what they are dealing with. I have already written a Hindi version but an English version is long overdue.
I said it ” A know it all guide to diabetes and hypertension for everyone” in English. I hope to help as many people as I can with this initiative. Sooner or later it is going to hit the shelves and transform lives for greater good.
When I first saw the prompt, I was instantly reminded of the great achievers who started off late or tasted success or met with their destiny very late in their lives like Colonel Sanders of KFC, Boman Irani from Bollywood, Jack Ma of Alibaba Group etc. But I also thought about myself…realizing my dream to write and become a published author after going through 10 long years of training to be a pediatrician. It is really never too late to dream and work towards making them a reality.
Here’s a poem for everyone out there who is waiting to start afresh, take a new step or revisit an old one. A poem for each one of us:
दुनियादारी ने सपने, कितने यूँही डुबो दिये , कुछ जला दिये, कुछ धो दिये , पर इन सपनों में, बाकी अभी थोड़ी जान है , भूले नहीं गिर कर उठना , इन पंखों में बची उड़ान है , ये ख्वाब हैं वो;जो ग़म में भी मुस्कुराते हैं , हैं वो नहीं; जो मामूली ठेस पर ही रो दिये ,
क्यूँ जकड़ें इन ख़्वाबों को , घड़ी के इन दो काँटों में, के पिंजरे से दूर उड़ जाने में, भूले भी देर नहीं होती,
के सोते ख़्वाब जगाने में , कभी देर नहीं होती , बचपन में लौट जाने में, कभी देर नहीं होती,
उन लम्हों को छू कर आने में, कभी देर नहीं होती, फिर बन्धन में बँध जाने में, कभी देर नहीं होती,
रोती आँखों को हँसाने में, कभी देर नहीं होती, रुक कर इक पल मुस्कुराने में, कभी देर नहीं होती,
के जिनके हों मज़बूत इरादे , पक्के हों मंजे और धागे, छूती है पतंग हर आसमाँ उनकी, के गहरी उनकी रातों में भी, कभी अँधेर नहीं होती,
हर ख्वाब को फिर जी जाने में, कभी देर नहीं होती, खुद से किए वादे निभाने में, कभी देर नहीं होती,
गीली आँखों को सुखाने में, कभी देर नहीं होती, कुछ बिसरी बातों को जताने में , कभी देर नहीं होती,
गिर कर फिर उठ जाने में, कभी देर नहीं होती, बिखरकर फिर बन जाने में, कभी देर नहीं होती,
रुकना न तुम राह-ए-दिल में कभी, चाहे ढेर मिलें मोती , के सच्ची राह दिख जाने में, यारों देर नहीं होती,