Today pollution in urban and rural areas has become an important issue for all the major governments. In the 21st century Air pollution is the foremost complication faced by the world. The reason blamed on the rapid urbanization, industrialization and increased traffic in both developed and underdeveloped countries of the world. Air pollution from different sources affect the health of the human population and weaken the ecosystem of the world. The amplified commercial activities and inconsiderable transportation practices harm the Air Quality Index (AQI). The severe health effect of suspended particulate matter (SPM) increases the daily mortality and the rates for the cases of respiratory diseases. Long term exposure to these chemicals increases the risk of the non-accidental demise in humans. The addition to the pollution problem is Indoor Air Pollution
What exactly do you understand by Indoor Air Pollution?
Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) is caused by the burning of biomass fuels such as firewood, crop residues, cow dung, and wood for cooking purposes in poorly ventilated areas. The degradation of indoor air quality is nearly 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution. This is because enclosed areas enable these pollutants to develop more as compared to open spaces. In 2000, IAP was the reason behind nearly 1.6 million deaths and 3% of the diseases. The practice of indoor burning of fuels is practiced by uneducated poor, common in rural areas. While about 3 billion of the worldwide population remained bare to poisonous fumes produced from the burning of the fuels. The death toll is credited to the Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) found in the remaining by 59% and Chronic Obtrusive Pulmonary Diseases by 41% while lung cancer is suffered by the remaining masses. World Health Organisation (W.H.O) stated that IAP was the major cause behind disability in children and over 1.6 million deaths in the world.
IAP apart from causing adverse health diseases associated with the use of traditional cooking procedures also adds on the cause of climate change and environmental downfall. The biomass fuel usage accounts for nearly 18 % of worldwide Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Another major cause of IAP is tobacco smoking from the consumption of cigarettes and the unlimited trends of aerosol usage.
Controlling Indoor Air Pollution – A way out
Tackling indoor air pollution by giving a universal way to sterile household power sources is a great way to improve health conditions. Moreover, the formation of reducing poverty, and thereby protecting our mother nature is also a way out. These practices are as follows:
- Public consciousness: One of the crucial steps in the prevention of indoor air pollution is education about the harmful side of IAP. Spreading awareness among people about the serious threat the components poses to their health. Knowledge will help people to search for a better alternative which is environment-friendly. The different ways of reducing chemical contact which can be done by better kitchen organizing and separating children from the presence of the pollutants at home. People should also be educated about replacing the direct burning of biomass fuel.
- Change in fuel prototype: Fuel use depends on a person’s choice and its availability. And most importantly its affordability. The majority of poor and uneducated families depend on biomass fuels for their cooking needs. The cause is that it is an economical and easiest option available to them. This could be changed by endorsing the use of eco-friendly sources such as cow dung.
- Rectifying the old cooking stoves: The old stoves should be modified from traditional smoke releasing ones to fuel-efficient ones. They need to be smokeless and must have a chimney for indoor pollution-causing chemicals. An example is the stoves designed the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy under a Special Project on Cookstove during 2009-2010. Their primary focus is the accessible clean and resourceful energy for the poor sections of the country.
- Proper ventilation: While constructing a house it is important to build proper ventilation structures. Verandahs and open windows are a solution to these problems. Poor non-aerated houses can lead to the death of family members or respiratory diseases. Measures such as a window over the stove area and criss-cross ventilation through doors should be installed.
- The coordinated global initiative: Indoor air pollution can be inhibited with proper coordination and commitment. Then only the efforts amongst various sectors worried with health, environment, housing in urban and rural growth will show the desired result.
What is the Immediate solution?
After getting exposed to Indoor Air Pollution, it can be reduced by taking up some measures. It is important to reverse the injury caused by past pollution contact. The best way is to strengthen the body’s immunity system so that it can productively tussle future damage. It is achievable through good and balanced nutrition. The diet should include more antioxidants and vitamins when necessary. Because poor nutrition and antioxidant deficiency can defense is linked with the rise in the risk of lung damage. Proper medical attention is a must in the case of serious trouble.
Example & affect – What is India’s Condition?
Studies in India provide us evidence that IAP is a cause of increasing premature death. Right now there is an urgent need for proper intervention. Further studies suggest an increase in diseases like asthma, tuberculosis, heart problems and cancers in India. The country is overruled by the political debates and controversies arising due to social, cultural, and economical issues. These influence the choice of cooking practices as well. Other factors may include the ease of usage of natural fuels and the food likings as well as asss the preference of stoves.
An article by the Business world said that “1.3 Million deaths every Year in India are due to Indoor Air Pollution. In India, out of 0.2 billion people use fuel for cooking and 49% use firewood. However, 8.9% uses cow dung cake; 1.5% coal, lignite, or charcoal and 2.9% sues kerosene. More to add, 28.6% uses liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); 0.1% electricity; 0.4% biogas; and 0.5% any other means”.
The great words of John Muir “, I know our bodies were made to thrive only in pure air, and the scenes in which pure air is found” are powerful enough to make us realize the emergency of sustainable living. Indoor and Outdoor pollution are two such serious conditions which affect the peace of life. The invisible killer larks in the air we breathe and only by realizing the damage we people commit, only a change can be brought. Intelligent living and practicing is now the sole way out. A change is compulsory to revolutionize the ill effects of our pollution sins. So awaken and spread the consciousness and ‘be the change’.