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Indoor Air Pollution Can Harm You More Than Car Fumes, Exhaust

Update Date: Apr 21, 2016 07:44 PM EDT

Indoor air pollution poses greater risk to people than outdoor pollutants, says a recent research. Cooking smoke, fungal spores and building material are said to be more dangerous to health and are found to cost us millions of life every year.

In the study published in Science of the Total Environment, researchers elaborated the dangers of indoor air pollution and its effects on human health. They have also discussed the need for air quality monitoring to ensure quality of the air breathed in. Investigators also emphasized the importance on simple measures like opening the windows to eliminate or minimize air pollution at home and offices, according to Eurekalert.

"When we think of the term 'air pollution' we tend to think of car exhausts or factory fumes expelling grey smoke," said Dr Prashant Kumar of the University of Surrey. "However, there are actually various sources of pollution that have a negative effect on air quality, many of which are found inside our homes and offices. From cooking residue to paints, varnishes and fungal spores the air we breathe indoors is often more polluted than that outside."

According to the study, around 4.3 million deaths recorded in 2012 were caused as a result of indoor air pollution while 3.7 million deaths were said to be of outdoor pollutants. People living in the cities are said to exhibit "Sick Building Syndrome" since they spend 90 percent of their time inside the walls.

By staying indoors city dwellers are reportedly encountering several air pollutants like coal or wood smoke from cooking, microbes like bacteria and fungi and their spores that are more deleterious to health than smoke emitted from vehicles and so on. Indoor air pollutants of sort are observed to cause cognitive impairment and many other respiratory diseases.

"It is essential that we are able to effectively monitor indoor air pollution so that we can better understand when and where levels are worst, and in turn offer solutions to make our air healthier. Our work looks at the use of small, low-energy monitoring sensors that would be able to gather real-time data and tell families or workers when levels of pollutants are too high," said Kumar, noted Tech Times.

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