Indoor Pollution

If you are reading this, chances are you live in an Urban area. If you do, barring a few places, most are extremely polluted. Some vie with others to attain the title of most polluted. The rest are not far behind. We worry about this and even wear masks or other protective gear. This with an objective to prevent infection. Once we come home, we kick up our feet, take off the protective gear and relax. Unfortunately, your woes do not end at your doorstep.

In our homes swirl a wide variety of pollutants. They are called Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC. VOC’s can be generated from your toilet paper, nail polish remover, your deodorant, building material, paint, glue, plastics and detergent. These are sources that most of us take for granted as part of our lives. After all, I would not be seen dead, without my nail polish being perfect at the party hosted by the Joneses. So out comes the nail polish remover before a new layer is slathered. This contains acetone. At low levels, this can be dealt with by the liver. At high doses, it can destroy your gastrointestinal tract, damage the cornea and cause birth defects. Clearly not the kind of stuff you want to play around with.

The easiest solution would be to make lifestyle changes and reduce the possibility of exposure to such chemicals at home. Another option is to ensure that you have a wide variety of house plants. Snake plants or Golden pothos for example are good at tackling Formaldehyde. Gerbera Daisy is useful to tackle¬†trichloroethylene which is the unwelcome guest when your dry cleaning comes back home. Spider plants can tackle¬†benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. Depending on what you are most commonly exposed to, ensure that you have a wide variety of indoor plants. It wasn’t just to have the perfect Martha Stewart home, you were saving your life.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.