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Delhi Pollution : Here are 5 ways in which indoor air could be killing you

Salma Rahman | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 12:28 IST

Think of air pollution and images of choking vehicular fumes and industrial smokestacks will come up in your mind. But have you ever given a thought to the polluted air you might be inhaling at your work space or for that matter, while relaxing in your living rooms?

Trapped, stagnant air combined with poor ventilation create a toxic cloud inside your home.

Here are 10 facts about indoor air pollutants and methods to protect yourself from them:

Beware of furniture

You must think this a joke, but scientifically, it has been proved that old wooden furniture could contain chemicals which are used as flame retardants. These chemicals have the possibility of sending toxins into the air.

Solution: It's better to replace old furniture after 6-7 years.

Air fresheners or air poisoners ?

You might be fan of air fresheners but research has proved that most fresheners contain phthalates - a group of deadly chemicals which are used to make plastics. These chemicals are known to disrupt hormone functions in babies and children, interfere with reproductive development, and aggravate respiratory ailments such as asthma.

Also, burning incense sticks increases the concentration of PM (particulate matter) such as PM1, PM 2.5 and PM 10 about 15 times more than the permitted levels.

Solution: I am sure we can do away with them!

Love candles? Think again!

Most candles, especially the scented ones made with paraffin wax, contain benzene and toluene, two known carcinogens.

These candles also contain hydrocarbons called alkanes and alkenes (chemicals found in car exhaust).

Solution: Go for the ones with pure essential oils instead.

Inkjet printers might affect fertility

Printing inks, like those used in home printers, contain glymes - chemicals linked to developmental and reproductive damage after long term exposure.

Solution: Better to get the photos printed at store.

Burning wood indoors

In India, people prefer traditional braziers or to burn wood indoors for warmth. This could be the worst idea !

Research shows that regular inhalation of wood smoke limits immune activity and function. Many of the particles in wood smoke collect and gather in dust long after the fire is extinguished.

Solution: While poor households are mostly dependent on the traditional means to cook or keep themselves warm, they could use it less and not for longer stretches.

First published: 9 December 2015, 4:52 IST