How to reduce indoor air pollution

A recent report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) suggests around 40,000 deaths are linked to air pollution each year in the UK.

Air pollution, says the report, may be linked with a number of serious diseases, including miscarriage, heart attack, stroke, asthma, diabetes, dementia, obesity and cancer. It may also adversely affect the development of unborn babies, the researchers conclude.

But while the dangers of outdoor air pollution are well known, the report adds that indoor air pollution is often overlooked. Indeed, it suggests that indoor air pollution may have caused or contributed to 99,000 deaths each year in Europe.

Last year, a report by the Indoor Environment and Energy Research Group (IEERG) predicted an 80 percent rise in asthma cases by 2050 if indoor air quality doesn’t improve.

“Simply opening windows is not enough as it doesn’t allow the necessary level of air exchange,” says the IEERG’s Professor Hazim B Awbi, who offers the following tips to improve the quality of your air at home:

1. Clean your air
Make sure you have adequate ventilation to remove any pollutants and moisture that can build up and get trapped within your home.

2. Go green
Choose eco products that have fewer toxins and pollutants in them.

3. Shower fresh
Change your shower curtain regularly to reduce mould growth, which releases spores and toxins into the air. These can cause or exacerbate respiratory and skin conditions such as asthma and eczema.

4. Cut moisture
Shut your bathroom door when showering, wipe down wet surfaces, put on your extractor fan and cover your pans when cooking. Excessive moisture allows dust mites and mould to thrive, can aid bacterial growth and affect the survival of viruses.

5. Switch to wooden flooring
Carpets harbour dirt, dust mites, pet hair, fungus and other potentially harmful particles that can aggravate the lungs. Swapping carpet for wooden flooring makes it easier to keep cleaner.

Find more tips on reducing indoor air pollution at myhealthmyhome.com

If you have asthma, ask your pharmacist for advice on keeping your home free from house dust mites and other substances that may trigger your symptoms. Your pharmacist can also help if you need help with your asthma medication. Find your nearest Careway pharmacy today by using our Pharmacy Finder.