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We spend a lot of time nowadays complaining about air pollution, especially if we live in North India, which is the worlds most polluted region during the winter.

However, most middle class Indian households in other parts of the country shouldn’t think that they breathe better air.

The reason is simple, indoor air pollution.

I am willing to bet that the air in most middle class Indian homes is worse than the air in Delhi (on a bad day).

There are multiple reasons for this. The biggest ones being LPG kitchen stoves, non vacuuming dusting practices, and the puja stuff, specifically oil lamps and incense sticks (agarbathis).

Any kitchen that uses an LPG stove must have a powerful exhaust fan and a chimney to suck and spit the pollutants out of the kitchen and out of the home. This fan must be switched on whenever the stove is burning.

Please remember that a gas stove in your home is like a running automobile or car inside your house, and your car is possibly Bharat IV certified and therefore is much less polluting than the gas stove.

The second is dusting practices. Often in Indian homes, the curtains, cushions, mattresses, sofas are dusted by whacking them with a cloth. This throws up the dust into the air which you breathe. Please wear an N95 mask when you dust this way, or use a vacuum cleaner.

The third pollutant is the puja room, epecially the agarbathis or incense sticks. These are usually just as harmful as second hand smoke from a cigarette being smoked inside the house. The diyas or lamps create the same problem as the gas stove in the kitchen.

Here is an article on scented candles and indoor air pollution – https://inhabitat.com/time-to-put-the-flame-out-scented-candles-can-cause-disease-and-poor-air-quality/

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