Reducing Exposure to Pollutants Can Maximise Health Benefits

Exposure to air pollutants can happen through two major routes – personal exposure to ambient or indoor air pollution during our day-to-day activities, and occupational exposure at the workplace. For example, consider the daily activities of a courier delivery executive, and an office worker – inevitably, the delivery executive will likely spend long hours on the road while the office worker will be inside a building, and while both will be affected by the ambient air, exposure level can be significantly different depending on road pollution levels and air quality inside the office.

There are many outdoor and indoor sources of air pollution that can contribute to pollutant exposure, including vehicles, industries, power plants, open waste burning, construction and generators in outdoor environments, and cooking, use of fuels such as wood, dung and coal inside houses, incense/candle burning, smoking and use of consumer products (deodorants, air fresheners, sprays etc.) inside buildings. Many research studies have shown very high levels of particles inside homes in India, although it is important to note that a majority of these studies were conducted in houses where solid fuels are used.

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