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Health TIP: Air - Life’s beginning and ending!

 This month we will discuss another most important factor that a human needs to survive and maintain a healthy life.  Breathing pure unpolluted AIR .

Our human body is a breathing machine that must have air constantly or it will perish. The life that goes into every cell in our bodies depends on Oxygen and therefore AIR. In order to keep our bodies cleaner and healthier we should get more oxygen into our lungs. 
Our planet earth’s atmosphere that extends 70 miles above us provides the vital air component Oxygen and we all are living at the bottom of this Ocean of Oxygen. Breathing cleaner Air (both indoor and outdoor) is a absolute necessity these days than ever before since most of us spend more time indoor than outdoors. Studies have shown that the air in our homes can be even more polluted than the outdoor air. In fact indoor air pollution represents a major portion of the public’s exposure to air pollution.
The U.S  Environment Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air pollutant (IAP) levels may be two to five times as high as the pollutant levels outdoors. Indoor air pollution can include vapors from household products, carbon monoxide and radon, building materials, tobacco smoke, cooking odors, various biological pollutants like viruses, bacteria, fungi, molds, and dust mites. In higher concentrations these ordinary house hold matters can be very harmful to human health. Especially the very young and old and those with asthma and respiratory illness. Even day to day activities such as cooking with gas, vacuuming, and using spray cleansers, disinfectants, repellents generate additional pollutants. 
Most of the time, we end up living in conditioned indoor air, in which the same air is circulated repeatedly. Ensuring proper ventilation is a good start in cleaning the indoor air. For best results, the air in our homes must be continuously exchanged with fresh outdoor air. If you are not able to open the windows because of traffic noise or because your Heating system/Air-conditioning system is running, use ceiling or outdoor vented exhaust fans to improve the exchange of fresh air. 
Indoor air with house hold dust contains an array of pollutants that include viruses (that cause seasonal cold/flu) bacteria (that cause ear/throat infections) molds, mildew, pet dander and dust mites (that cause allergies, asthma and eczema). 
The most effective ways for improving air-quality in your home are to control the sources of specific pollutants and to ensure adequate ventilation whenever possible. Additionally using Air cleaners/Air filters is the best secondary option that is available for removing trouble causing contaminants. When buying a air filter, look for the Clean Air Delivery rate (CADR) certification seal on the product packaging. The higher the CADR number, the faster and better the unit filters or cleans the air. HEPA air purifier systems for individual rooms is another good option that is available these days. 
Radon? It is a radioactive gas that results from the natural decay of Uranium and is found in nearly all soils. It usually enters a home through the ground cracks in the foundation, floor, walls or around service pipes. Radon is a second leading cause of Lung cancer after cigarette smoke. “Radon testing” can be done with the help of a certified contractor.
Carbon monoxide! It is another silent killer! This toxic gas, that doesn’t have smell, color or taste, is produced by “burning fuel“. Room heaters, furnaces, fire places, gas ovens and ranges and water heaters are some potential sources of carbon monoxide. Hence, it is very important to keep these appliances in good working conditions by proper usage and maintenance. A carbon monoxide detector can be used to detect abnormal levels of this toxic gas.
In addition to keeping these pollutants under control, it is also important to monitor and control the humidity level in our houses. High humidity and damp surfaces aid in the growth of molds ( a common allergen) . Try to keep the relative humidity under 60 percent, and ideally between 30 and 50 percent. The best way to control humidity is by proper ventilation and use of dehumidifier. 
During colder seasons, the heated air that is too dry can be very uncomfortable and aggravate respiratory and skin problems. Humidifiers can be used to get rid of this problem. But care should be taken to refill the tank with pure water daily and the humidifiers must be cleaned atleast once a week during regular use.
In short,
Ventilate your home by opening the windows and doors regularly.
Use outdoor vented exhaust fans while cooking, washing, cleaning and bathing.
Change filters on furnace, A/C, air purifiers and vacuum cleaners regularly.
Do not store any opened cans of chemical based cleansers, and paints inside the house.
Store solvents and pesticides outdoor.
Maintain the relative indoor humidity level between 30% - 50%.
Use Carbon monoxide detectors to detect any Carbon monoxide threat.
Add few live indoor plantsJ. 
 Ohm Shanthi! 


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