May 29, 2024

The hidden danger of lockdowns: Indoor air pollution


As lockdowns were imposed in countries around the world, news of improved environmental conditions started flooding social media feeds. In the the US, air pollution was reported to have dropped by 30%. Meanwhile, levels of carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds inside homes increased by 15 to 30%. 

In this article for Scientific American, Emily Anthes says that contamination of indoor air can be attributed to two activities: cooking and cleaning. With the lockdowns in effect and fear of the virus at its peak, frequency of these two activities have increased, hence leading to greater air pollution indoors. And as indoor air becomes toxic, a new kind of danger awaits those who are locked in their homes.

Editor’s Note: Indoor pollution is a reality for many homes, especially those who live in high rise buildings with centralized air condition systems (typically found in cities). As entire populations are forced to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, they too, are slowly being poisoned by toxic indoor air. 

As we continue to stay away from crowds and spend more time in our homes, let us keep in mind this article. Open your windows, and let the air in. If you can, spend some time outdoors to breathe cleaner air. Remember – toxic air is more deadly than the coronavirus. There is nothing to be paranoid about. 

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