How To Protect Your Child From Air Pollution
Air pollution and respiratory problems are interlinked. While masks and air purifiers help, you also need an air quality monitor to track the quality of air you breathe.
You may have noticed a cloud of smog looming over your city. That’s air pollution, one of the biggest and most common public health threats society is facing today. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 90 per cent of the world breathes unsafe air.
And, as it turns out, when it comes to air pollution, our children are the most vulnerable. Because they are still growing and developing, exposure to air pollution can lead to adverse/ lasting health effects, including asthma and other respiratory ailments.
This is why it is so important for us to understand air pollution and know what we can do to protect our children and ourselves.
Where does air pollution come from?
When talking about air pollution, the first thing that comes to mind is usually the haze that hangs over many of the world’s major cities. Take New Delhi, for instance – the outdoor air pollution in this city is caused by the burning of fossil fuel (by cars, energy plants and the industry) as well as crop-burning. This causes a significant increase in the fine particulate matter (PM), commonly known as PM2.5 and PM10. PM2.5, in particular, is invisible to the naked eye but can enter our lungs and bloodstream, leading to serious health risks and respiratory illnesses.
Yet outdoor pollutants aren’t the only threat – indoor pollutants can be just as dangerous. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency has found that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. And, because babies and young children often spend the majority of their time indoors, it is important for us to know what to look out for.
If you live in a polluted area, particulate matter from the outdoors can easily enter your home – either through open doors and windows or through cracks along the edges of closed doors and windows. Dust, pet dander, and smoke from cigarettes and candles are also important sources of indoor pollution.
Meanwhile, we cannot afford to overlook carbon dioxide (CO2) present indoors. CO2 is harmless, but it can quickly build up indoors just from human breathing. High levels of CO2 can leave us feeling drowsy and have a negative impact on our productivity. Excessive CO2 in classrooms and bedrooms especially critical for children and can potentially harm their learning and creative ability. Hence it is important to tackle the problem of indoor CO2.
What can we do to protect our children from air pollution?
Air pollution is a global health crisis, but, fortunately, making a few simple changes can bring many benefits to ourselves and to our children.
For starters, pollution masks can provide the protection you need when you are outdoors, while air purifiers have proved to be efficient in reducing PM2.5 levels indoors. We recommend avoiding or limiting the use of certain products indoors, such as candles, cigarettes, and chemical cleaners, to avoid introducing more pollutants into your living environment.
But, masks and air purifiers aren’t enough; the most helpful thing you can do is purchase an air quality monitor. As air pollution is invisible, we don’t know what the quality of the air we are breathing is. And, because of this, finding a complete solution becomes nearly impossible. Only when we know what the quality of the air around us exactly is, we make informed decisions for ourselves and our loved ones.
How is an air quality monitor going to help you?
We may have a general understanding of local air quality from weather reports or air quality apps, but this data is far from sufficient to guide our everyday lives. Air pollution often varies from block to block, even street to street. So, an air pollution reading from a monitoring station 15km away can’t really tell us what the quality of the air around us is like.
Having an air quality monitor at home lets us know what exactly we are breathing. Take the Laser Egg+ CO2 for example – powered by best-in-class sensors, it provides real-time readings of PM2.5, CO2, temperature and humidity present in the air we breathe. It can also convert PM2.5 concentration data into India’s Air Quality Index (AQI) standards.
With the help of the Laser Egg+ CO2, we can instantly answer questions like:
- Is the air inside my home safe for my children?
- Is it safe to let my children go outside and play?
- Is my air purifier working as it is supposed to?
- Can I/Should I open the windows and doors to let in fresh air?
In addition, when linked with the Kaiterra mobile app, the Laser Egg+ CO2 can send you notifications when the air in your home changes. It also works with Apple HomeKit and IFTTT, which allows you to seamlessly connect to the smart appliance (like an air purifier) to automate the air quality in your home.
Living in a polluted city may make you feel unsettled about your children’s health, but hopefully, this article has opened your eyes and shown some ways in which you can take control. The Laser Egg+ CO2 is here to help you better understand the quality of the air around you, so you can not only stay informed, but also better protect the ones you love.
Kaiterra is a global startup co-founded by Swiss entrepreneur Liam Bates. The company creates IoT enabled high accuracy air quality monitors for consumer, business and industrial use. Kaiterra monitors are driven by real-time data to help people build and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
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Written by Kaiterra on 22 November 2019
Disclaimer: The content for this sponsored article has been provided by Kaiterra.
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