Air Purifiers : worth the buck or a fad?
As the Delhi skies start to turn a hazy shade of grey and the air start to smell of burnt leaves while making your eyes itch and water, I am inspired to write about the need and efficacy of Air Purifiers.
Popular belief is that Food and your "Diet" are all that Nutrition is, but let me bust that myth and put it out there that Water, Air, Home Environment, Relationships, Career..contribute way more to your health and well-being than the morsels of food you put in your mouth.
Focusing on the Air component of Integrative Nutrition today! So the question here is, for everyone out there, not just folks in NCR - are Air Purifiers really worth the investment? and the answer is YES!
First, indoor air pollution can be 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution and most people spend upwards if 90% of their time indoors and thanks to Covid-19 now we spend all of our time indoors. It is also because millions of chemicals lurk in our home and settle in enclosed spaces, while we keep replenishing them with more chemicals. Some of the most common sources are fuel for cooking, all the plastics in the house, washing and cleaning products, aerosols, toiletries and beauty products, which constantly leave heavy metals and harmful compounds in the air that we breathe in 24X7.
These pollutants are hormone disrupters, allergens, carcinogens and adversely affect everything from our digestion to reproduction capabilities including growth and development of children.
Proper ventilation and a high efficiency air-filtration system have become imperative in the world that we live in specially those dwelling in the mega-metropolitans of the globe.
Here are seven reasons why an Air Purifier is totally worth the money -
1. You live in Delhi NCR - those living in Delhi, Lahore, Shanghai, Kathmandu, Chengdu, Krakow, Ho Chi Minh City, Seoul, Mumbai, Karachi, Sofia, Milan, Tashkent, Los Angeles..should stop reading this blog and go get an Air Purifier right away! because you don't even have the option of ventilation to solve the issue of indoor air pollution considering the air outside is worse.
2. You clean your house - now you are like 'of course I clean my house', but we often ignore the harmful chemicals that household cleaning products introduce in the air, such as VOCs, which are harmful when inhaled. And of-late we have all been drowsing ourselves in sanitisers. All of these sanitising products induce an onset of asthma and various respiratory conditions.
3. You clean yourself and care about how you look - we all absolutely love the smell of an inviting bubble bath, cocoa body butters, strawberry lip balms, citrus body mists and caramel hand creams; without giving a second thought to what goes into all these products. They all release tons of "volatile organic compounds" VOCs in the immediate air we breathe in. Best is to switch to handmade organic natural beauty products which are paraben free and artificial fragrance free. An air purifier helps clear the air VOCs hanging in the air in your room after you've applied your favourite perfume.
4. You cook on a gas stove - gas stoves emit nitrogen dioxide that causes cardiovascular issues making them the primary cause of indoor air pollution and their harmful impact increases multifold if you don't use exhaust or electric chimneys. But just exhausts aren't enough; a good quality air-purifier is essential to remove the nitrogen dioxide, specially from your bedroom which most of us keep completely closed in summers and in winters.
5. You are religious and/or spiritual and use incense sticks, candles, other forms of air fresheners - a lot of us, specially Indians use incense sticks, aromatic candles, and other air fresheners but the artificial fragrance and chemicals emitted by them are quite hazardous to our health because of continued exposure, known to cause migraine headaches, asthma attacks and breathing difficulties. The spray kind air-fresheners are actually the worst! so contradictory - the product that is designed to "freshen" the air actually makes it unhealthy for us. Replace all of the above with diffusers and humidifiers adding a few drops of essential oils to it.
6. You have furniture and carpets - this one is very hard to believe but do you remember the smell of furniture and home decor items the first time you opened them? That's the VOCs you are breathing in!
Even though the smell subsides all the furniture in our house is still releasing particle matter and chemicals in the air. The more synthetic the furniture the more the indoor air pollution. Carpets are the worst - not only are home to harmful bacteria and mould but also give off fluorinated chemicals (PFAS) for years.
7. You live in a humid city - if you live in cities where the weather is constantly humid, or have water seepage issues in your house, your home is more susceptible to mold and bacterias which cause innumerable health issues like allergies, wheezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rashes.
First you want to get the mold removed and seepage repaired and next invest in a good air purifier which can reduce the number os spores suspended in the air in your home.
Remember, nothing works in isolation! Your health is a function of the air your breathe, the water you drink, your sleep, foods you eat, exercise routine, hygiene you maintain and the chemical exposure. Having said that, little changes everyday do compound together resulting in improved health and lifestyle over time. So make right choices today!
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